Good, Cheap, Fast… Dinner can be all 3

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Tonight’s menu: Pan roasted chicken legs, roasted cauliflower in a coconut curry sauce, and roasted sweet potato. 45

Many of us struggle with dinner; no time, no plans, no energy, or no idea what to cook.

When we’re stuck for time and the kids are circling I start by cranking the oven broiler to high (tip: preheating oven with the broiler is fastest, generally).

Then I get my trusty cast iron skillet (the original non-stick) on medium high heat so it’s ready to sear whatever meat we are having. Searing or browning the outside of the meat starts the cooking process and begins building flavour. After that the whole pan goes right into the oven.

Once the meat is in the pan I chop the vegetables. Tip: the smaller you cut them the faster they cook.

Once the vegetables are chopped and the meat is nicely browned, everything goes in the oven to roast.

Wikipedia says:

Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat, whether an open flame, oven, or other heat source. Roasting can enhance flavor through caramelization and Maillard browning on the surface of the food. Roasting uses indirect, diffused heat (as in an oven), and is suitable for slower cooking of meat in a larger, whole piece.[1] Meats and most root and bulb vegetables can be roasted.


Note: I used both a 10 inch cast iron skillet for the cauliflower and a 12 inch skillet for the chicken.



4 Chicken legs
3-4 cups cauliflower cut into florettes
1-2 sweet potatoes cut into 1cm thick slices
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
3/4 cup coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil


1) preheat oven with broiler on high. Place ovenproof skillet on med-heat

2) pat chicken dry then rub them with 1/2 tsp oil each. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. The oil will help the seasonings stick.

3) place chicken in pan skin side down. Leave 3-4 minutes until skin is golden brown, then turn and brown 2-3 minutes.

4) While chicken is browning cut cauliflower and slice sweet potatoes.

5) Once chicken is brown place skillet in oven and turn oven to 425 def Fahrenheit. (use convection if you have it, just lower temp by 25 def F)

6) Toss cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then sprinkle curry powder over, stir, and place in shallow roasting pan. Into the oven it goes.

7) Brush a thin layer of oil on cookie sheet and spread sweet potato slices in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Into the oven they go.

Note: if space is an issue then combine sweet potatoes and chicken on same baking tray.

8) Roast 20 mins. Half way through flip sweet potato slices.

9) Remove all items from oven. Let chicken rest while you gently stir in coconut milk with cauliflower to make sauce in roasting dish.