It had been one of those days where everyone was just worn out. We sat around the dinner table quietly eating our meal. The wind blew cold outside and the fireplace burned warm behind us.
Ever since I was little, dinnertime has always been my favorite time of day. Everyone takes a big sigh of relief as the day's cares slowly slip off our shoulders.
On this particular evening, I was all too grateful for a particularly cozy and comforting meal. We needed it. My mom needed the break that I gave her when I offered to make dinner. I needed the simple, mindless chopping and preparing of an easy meal. We all needed the slow moments of family small talk and steamy meat and vegetables.
Dinnertime is great like that.
It was my first time cooking in a dutch oven, so I was so glad that it turned out so incredibly well. Since Christmas, I had been excited to use one of the cast irons my Dad surprised my Mom with. According to a family friend (and frequently repeated by my Dad jokingly), “Anything you can do in an oven, you can do in a dutch oven, but better.” So every time I cook something now, he asks if I made it in the dutch oven—because clearly whatever I’m making I could have made better if only I’d done it in a dutch oven. This time I was finally able to say, “Yes, Dad! I made it in a dutch oven!! Aren’t you just blown away??"
All joking aside, the dutch oven is pretty fun to cook in. It’s just an incredibly easy way to get moist and flavorful food. You just basically toss all your vegetables and meat and spices in there, put on the lid, and bake it for an hour or two.
This recipe is a lovely example of healthy comfort food. No crazy amounts of high-calorie cheese and carbs. Just chicken, cauliflower, and a bit of potatoes. You might not want to eat this way every day, but you’re certainly not tossing away your healthy eating habits for a cozy meal.
The magic of the dutch oven is that it really seals in all the moisture while cooking the food perfectly evenly. No crispy, dry, burnt stuff. Just well-cooked, soft and flavorful goodness.
Dutch Oven Chicken Wings and Veggies
- 4 red potatoes
- 2 small yellow onions
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 lb chicken wings
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 T honey
- 1/4 cup cooking wine
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sage
Start by marinating the wings. Mix the salt, garlic powder, honey, cooking wine, and balsamic vinegar in a gallon ziploc bag. Add the wings and let them sit. You can do this a few hours ahead of time, or if you’re like me, you can just let them marinate while you chop the vegetables.
Place your dutch oven in the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and chop the potatoes, onions, cauliflower, and bell peppers. In a small bowl, mix the spices. Place one-third of the chopped veggies in the bottom of the heated dutch oven. Sprinkle on top one-third of the spice mixture. Place another third of the veggies in and sprinkle on another third of the spices. Place the remaining veggies top, then arrange the wings on top of that. Pour all the marinade and meat juices over the meat and vegetables, and sprinkle on the last of the spices. Put the lid on the dutch oven and place it in the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.