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I was originally going to post this as ‘Sunday Dinner,’ when I realized I had easily put it together on a weeknight and was just enjoying the fantastic leftovers today. The fennel! Oh, the fennel just makes this dish. And when I used bone-in chicken thighs instead of cutting apart an entire chicken, the prep became mere minutes. This dinner will definitely go into our regular rotation of weeknight meals.

Mustard Chicken with Root Vegetables
adapted from real simple

4 pounds chicken, cut into 8 pieces
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons soy sauce
6 small carrots, cut in half crosswise
2 medium fennel bulbs, cut into wedges
1 red onion, cut into wedges
8 sprigs thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400° F.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Combine the mustard, soy sauce, and
1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat.
Combine the carrots, fennel, onion, thyme, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon
pepper in a roasting pan.
Nestle the chicken among the vegetables. Roast until the chicken is cooked through
and the vegetables are tender, about 50 minutes.

Some nights we both work so late, I can only handle dinners that will take me a half hour or less. I knew today was going to be one of those days, and thankfully planned well for it. This quick sauce is packed with bright pepper flavor and only takes a few minutes, including prep time. Phew.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

4 red bell peppers, roasted, skinned and seeded or the equivalent from a jar, drained
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
flat leaf parsley, finely minced
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 lb pasta, cook al dente according to the directions

Put the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion when oil is hot.
Cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes more.
Puree the red bell pepper with the pine nuts in a food processor or blender as much as possible.
Add to the onions and garlic. Stir in the cream and parmesan, add salt to taste.
Serve over pasta and top with parsley.