Spring Chicken with a Pile of Baby Vegetables

Cooking vegetables and chicken together not only saves pots and pans, it also enhances their flavor as the juices intermingle. The vegetables are added in stages so that the firmer veggies are given a longer time to cook, while the more tender ones are added at the end.

1 (3 1/2-lb.) cut-up whole chicken
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon pepper, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium sweet onion, halved, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch wedges (1 1/4 cups)
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup white wine or lower-sodium chicken broth
8 thin carrots, 2 inches of tops attached (halved lengthwise if thick)
8 unpeeled small red new potatoes (1- to 1 1/2-inches), halved (quartered if large)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, divided
8 oz. asparagus, cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces (1 1/2 cups)
4 oz. sugar snap peas, halved lengthwise (1 1/2 cups)

1. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Heat large deep skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil; heat until hot. Cook chicken in batches, 6 to 8 minutes or until browned on all sides, turning occasionally; remove chicken.

2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and onion to skillet; cook over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes or until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook and stir 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add wine; bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on bottom of skillet.

3. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to skillet. Arrange carrots and potatoes over chicken; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the tarragon. Cover; simmer over medium-low heat 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender.

4. Add asparagus and peas; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the tarragon and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cover; continue cooking 5 to 8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center, carrots and potatoes are tender and asparagus and peas are crisp-tender. Remove chicken to platter; surround with vegetables.

5. Bring juices in skillet to a boil over high heat. Boil 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly thickened; pour over chicken and vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon tarragon.

6 servings

PER SERVING: 425 calories, 20.5 g total fat (5 g saturated fat), 35 g protein, 24 g carbohydrate, 100 mg cholesterol, 535 mg sodium, 5 g fiber

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