My recipe for a romantic picnic? A roasted chicken with sandwich trimmings.
Roll with me on this one. Its easy and totally appropriate.
You start out by following my couldnt-be-easier recipe for cast-iron skillet roasted whole chicken. The gist is that you split the bird at the backbone (technically called spatchcocking, but that just seems inappropriate in this context), sear it breast side down on the stovetop, then flip the bird and finish it in the oven.
When the chicken is cooked, you let it cool, then you cover it and refrigerate it right in the pan. You even can do the roasting the night before.
The rest is up to you, but the idea is to accompany your bird with sandwich fixings. Start with some sliced sourdough bread or whole-grain pita pockets. Add some washed and dried lettuce, sliced tomatoes, slabs of cheddar or manchego cheese, a few condiments, and whatever else you and your date enjoy.
Add a bottle of wine and the chilled chicken and youre good to go. At the picnic, you set out everything and leisurely sip and assemble sandwiches (or just nibble). Because when the idea is to woo, its hard to beat whipping out a whole roasted chicken complete with sandwich supplies.
This recipe also makes enough for a crowd. A 4-pound chicken should provide enough meat for eight sandwiches. If you dont need that much, look for a smaller bird, but watch the cooking time, as it should be shorter.