Sometimes, the writing life really interferes with kitchen life. Last week, my debut book, Pretty Crooked, was released into the world. As I should have predicted, my entire routine went to crap. I spent many hours online, doing social networking, talking up contests and answering email, obsessing about various book-related details, writing up blog posts and preparing for my launch party. In the meantime, I could not go to the gym. I could not get anything practical or household-y done. Worst of all, as far as I'm concerned, I could not cook.
When this week started, I was determined to get back on track and restore some sense of normalcy in my household. I craved home-cooked nourishment. I needed routine and simple food. And yet, I was still pretty fatigued, both emotionally and physically, from the release experience.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Pat chicken dry. Stir together spices, salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and rub evenly all over chicken.
Heat remaining tablespoon oil in an ovenproof heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken on both sides, about 5 minutes.
Transfer skillet to middle of oven and roast chicken, skin side up, until just cooked through, 16 to 18 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Add water to pan and deglaze over high heat, scraping up brown bits.
Pour pan juices over chicken.