My husband and I have been married 12 years.  We’ve lived in five different homes of our own, and not one of those dear places has ever been blessed by a dishwasher.  Much to my disappointment.

I feel we’re like the only family in the world that doesn’t have a dishwasher.  But I know there are others of you out there. Many others, I’m sure.  At the end of the day, one side of your sink looks like Mount Dish-more and you wonder if there’s any way that all those dishes can be stacked and balanced to fit in the drying rack.

Here’s how I make a dishwasher-less kitchen work.

  • Wear dish gloves. Your hands will thank you. Invest the extra dollar in the kind with the soft interior.  They don’t tear as easily and last months longer (unless you melt a hole in the finger.  Tip: don’t wear them to clean a hot stove).
  • Fill the sink with a little soapy water so you can soak stuff or wash something quickly as you go.
  • Make your stuff pull double duty. Don’t call a knife, mixing bowl or cutting board dirty until you’re sure you won’t use it anymore.  I leave the same cutting board and knife out until all dinner prep is done, just brushing it off between uses. Of course, disregard this tip if you’re handling raw meat.
  • Put the kids to work.  Pull up a stool and teach your children the valuable life skill of washing the dishes.  If you’re afraid they’ll break stuff (like me), let them wash the plastic and utensils.
  • One dish dinners.  They get a bad rap, but you can do so much more than just a casserole (don’t get me wrong, I’m not a casserole hater) in just one pot or pan or baking dish.  There are so many reasons I love one dish dinners, and here’s one of our favorites.

 

One Dish Roasted Chicken and Veggies

  1. If you’re strapped for time, skip this step.  But if you do have a little extra time, this quick brine will make your chicken so moist and juicy!

¼  c sugar

¼  c salt

2 bone in, skin on chicken breast halve

 

  • In a bowl big enough to comfortably fit your chicken, dissolve the sugar and salt in a cup of warm water.  Place the chicken in the bowl and add enough cold water to cover the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.

2. While your chicken is brining, get your veggies ready.  Here’s what I used:

3 medium red potatoes, cut into 1 in cubes

6 medium carrots, cut into 1 in rounds

1 onion, sliced into wedges

5-10 whole garlic cloves (depending on how much garlic you like), peeled

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 cup olive oil

3. Preheat your oven to 450°.  Toss the potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, rosemary, olive oil plus some salt and pepper all together in a 9×13 baking dish.  Roast them in your hot oven until they begin to soften, 15-20 minutes.  Take the veggies out of the oven and place a wire rack (the kind you use to cool cookies or cakes) on top of the baking dish.  

4. Take the chicken out of the brine, pat her dry with paper towels and place them on top of the wire rack.  If you don’t have a wire rack, just nestle the chicken on top of the veggies.  It might take a few more minutes to cook.

5. Stick the whole thing back in the oven and roast until the chicken is at least 160 degrees on a meat thermometer.  It will take about 30 or 40 minutes, depending on how big your chicken breasts are.  Your veggies should be nice and tender by now, but it couldn’t hurt to check.  If they’re not, remove the chicken, which needs about 10 minutes to rest and get nice and juicy anyway, and roast the veggies a few more minutes.  

6. Serve it up to those hungry tummies!

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