Chicken with plum sauce and roasted vegetables

IT’S THE TAIL END OF PLUM SEASON IN ROME. With so many to eat in so little time (namely, before a fruit fly colony invades our kitchen) plums got upgraded from snack item to dessert to dinner. These sweet little beauties are a great source of fiber plus vitamins C, A and K. To be honest I don’t know much about vitamin K but perhaps its the unsung hero of the vitamin world and if so, we’re all set because we’ve been eating a lot of plums around here!

This meal is more about an idea than a recipe. It works with chicken or pork, any cut of either one, and apples, peaches or plums. I’ve used every combination and they’re all delicious.

For the chicken, I just did a quick saute in the pan with olive oil, salt and pepper then removed the chicken to a plate. Add a dash of white wine to deglaze the pan (don’t worry about drunk toddlers, the alcohol burns out). Add a cup of water and six diced plums, skin still on. Simmer for about six minutes and add salt and pepper to taste. When the sauce is juicy and savory, throw the chicken back into the pan to warm up. Serve chicken with a generous helping of plum sauce piled on top.

The roasted vegetables are even easier. Prepare whatever veggies are in season and acceptable to your littlest palettes at the moment, by peeling and cutting into uniform dice or chunks. (Smaller pieces will cook faster but make sure everything is roughly the same size so they’ll all cook evenly.) We used carrots and fennel this time. Spread everything on a baking sheet, add olive oil, salt and pepper then roast at 425 for about 40 minutes. Flip once, halfway through.

Oil and spice prep makes for an excellent way to get kids involved in this meal. Plus, they may nibble a few veggies (or even plums) along the way. Never a bad thing to sneak a few more vitamins in.

A final note about vegetables, specifically how to get your little guy to eat more of them. More than one Food Network personality swears by roasting as a method to bring out the natural sweetness of veggies, therefore increasing the likelihood that kids will eat them. Works for me.

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