Stephen and Alicia Searcy have loved raising their boys on the Eastern Shore. They are very active in the community. Stephen is the Vice President at First Horizon Bank, working in Mobile and Fairhope, and Alicia is a Luxury Travel Designer with The Travel Boutique. They both volunteer at their church, children’s school, and various other organizations.
“Dinner as a family has always been something that centers our family. Even when the boys were babies, we’d sit around the dinner table together each night, as difficult as it may have been with food flying and tired toddlers,” shared Alicia. “Now, it can be challenging to sit down together consistently because of sports schedules. We try not to beat ourselves up about it, but we try to make it happen at least three times a week. There is just something about a home-cooked meal that makes you feel like all is right in the world, even if it’s not.”
The Searcy boys are very close in age, which keeps the family in the throes of after-school activities. She is 11, loves baseball, and just recently started wrestling. Luke is ten, and while he loves baseball, his parents say he is also a budding musician. Stephen often has opportunities to help coach the boy’s activities, which he loves to do.
“We love getting out and about as a family on the Eastern Shore, whether it’s watching the sunset at the Fairhope Yacht Club, hiking at Blakely State Park or the park preserve in Daphne, or just taking a golf cart ride around the neighborhood,” said Alicia. “We know these moments are fleeting, and we want to squeeze them in at every opportunity.”
Alicia says that the family tries to eat at home more often than not as it saves money and allows them to eat healthier. However, with two working parents and busy after-school schedules, eating out becomes more frequent.
“I am sharing ‘Change Your Life Chicken’ with Eastern Shore Parents because it’s a great recipe for any season and a wonderfully hearty root vegetable dish for this winter season. Plus, it’s easy… a one-pan dish,” says Alicia. “I was first introduced to this recipe by Laura Rowe, a friend and local photographer! I also want to give the author credit – Kendra, from The Lazy Genius Collective.”
Change Your Life Chicken
- Chicken thighs with the bone and the skin
- Two handfuls of vegetables per person
You can use whatever you have. Options: onion, carrot, potato, green bean, asparagus, leek, sweet potato, and cauliflower. (Avoid mushrooms, zucchini, squash and broccoli with this method.)
- Olive oil, salt, and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with heavy duty foil. Your pan needs to hold your vegetables comfortably – not too close together, not too far apart. Heavy duty is less likely to tear, i.e. to get dirty from chicken grease. Do not use glass. It will shatter. I’d recommend not using any kind of baking dish with high sides because you won’t get the same kind of crisp.
- Cut your vegetables into large bite sized pieces and toss with olive oil, more salt than you think you need and black pepper.
- Peel the skin back from the chicken and generously season with pepper and salt. The best order is to place the chicken skin side down on the vegetables, season, flip, pull back the skin, season and put the skin back.
- Pat the chicken skin dry with a wad of paper towels.
- Place the chicken skin side up directly on top of the vegetables.
- Bake at 500 degrees for 50 minutes. Don’t worry if the chicken will be done; it will be.