Andrea Chaffin: Show your Valentine their love language with dinner

Andrea Chaffin: Show your Valentine their love language with dinner

By Andrea Chaffin

I was scrolling through Facebook last year when I came across one of those silly quizzes.

“What is your love language?”

Whatever that means, I thought. But, alas, the power of the clickbait. I decided to take the test.

The quiz is based upon a classic book by Gary Chapman called, “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.”

Basically, it says says every person is wired differently. And as loving individuals, we should use different tactics to communicate and show our love to our partners “in their language.”

Those languages are receiving gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service (devotion) and physical touch. By figuring out which “language” your partner uses, you can improve your relationship.

And as Valentine’s Day approaches, this could be some handy information.

According to the very scientific quiz, my language is acts of service (devotion). Those acts could include cooking a meal, emptying the dishwasher, changing the baby’s diaper, picking up a prescription and keeping the car in operating condition. They require thought, planning, time, effort and energy.

Perhaps your Valentine’s love language is the same. What better way to show your love on this day of love than cooking an impressive-looking meal, especially when going out to eat has become so much more common?

This comforting, but not-too-rich dinner will prove actions speak louder than words.

ROASTED CHICKEN WITH ROOT VEGETABLES

This yummy dinner is in the oven long enough for you to clean up the kitchen and freshen up for your date. Pop open a bottle of wine while you wait. It is Valentine’s Day, after all.

For the chicken:

1 (4 1/2 to 5-pound) chicken, patted dry

1 stick butter, room temperature

3 large cloves garlic, minced

4 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

4 sage leaves, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the vegetables:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

6 baby red potatoes, halved

4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed

1 yam, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks

3 stalks celery, cut into 2-inch chunks

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped

2 sage leaves, chopped

1 large onion, peeled and quartered

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F and position an oven rack just below center of oven.

For chicken: In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic, herbs, lemon zest, salt and pepper until smooth. Smear butter mixture over outside and under skin of chicken breast, being careful not to tear skin. Stuff rosemary sprigs, thyme sprigs and lemon quarters into cavity.

For vegetables: In a large bowl, toss together oil, lemon juice, potatoes, carrots, Brussels sprouts, yams, celery, onion, herbs, salt and pepper.

On a rimmed baking sheet, spread vegetables in a single layer, arranging Brussels sprouts in center and potatoes and carrots along the outside. This keeps the sprouts from getting overcooked and ensures potatoes are cooked through. Place chicken skin side up on top of vegetables. Pour a thin layer of water into pan to prevent burning.

Roast until vegetables are tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken thigh registers 160 F, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and let chicken rest 20 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a platter and surround with vegetables. Scrape juices from roasting pan into a measuring cup, then spoon off layer of fat that rises to top. Serve chicken with pan juices.

Salt Magazine