The French Market Dinner With Only 3 Ingredients

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Last week, we clued you in on our new easy-eating plan: three-ingredient dinners. In case you missed the premiere meal of (this cheesy Italian feast), let us explain: We realized that you could whip up a dinner worth setting the table for using only the essentials in your pantry — salt, pepper, and olive oil — and three simple ingredients. It’s that easy!

Cut-3-ingredient-chicken-dinner-1Photographed by Erin Phraner.
French Market Chicken With Herbed Potatoes
Take this French Market Chicken recipe, for example. Snag a chicken, potatoes, and one bunch-o'-herbs (your choice), and dinner’s set for about $13 — and that’s if you shop at a fancy grocery store. We spatchcocked the chicken, which is just a fancy way of saying “removed the backbone,” to save you roughly 15 minutes of cook time. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to five days or invite friends over for a (no-fuss) French-y treat!

Ingredients
Serves: 2 to 4
1½ pounds baby Yukon gold or red-skinned potatoes, halved
1 bunch fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, or sage)
1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds)
PANTRY STAPLES: Extra-virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.

Preheat the oven to 450˚. Toss the potatoes, two tablespoons olive oil, one tablespoon chopped herbs (your choice), and ½ teaspoon salt in a large cast-iron skillet or shallow baking dish. Spread in an even layer.

Remove the giblets from the chicken, if needed. Rinse and dry the chicken very well (inside and out) with paper towels. Put the chicken, breast-side down, on a cutting board. Starting at the bottom, cut along both sides of the backbone using kitchen shears or very sharp scissors; discard the backbone. Flip the chicken over and open it like a book; press down on the breastbone to flatten.

Brush chicken with one tablespoon olive oil and generously season all over with about 1½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

Put the chicken on top of the potatoes in the skillet (tuck some extra herbs under the chicken, if desired) and roast until golden and a thermometer inserted into the thigh registers 180˚, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving. Garnish with more herbs, if desired.

Note: Want to do a little more? Serve with a green salad and some Dijon mustard for dipping. You could also rub the chicken with softened butter instead of brushing with olive oil. Or maybe stick a lemon, cut into wedges, under the chicken before roasting (for about $1 more).