I usually take some kind of meat out the freezer the night before and put it in the refrigerator to defrost so it's ready to cook when I get home from work. Sometimes I just pull whatever I grab first out and just assume I'll figure out what to have when I'm ready to cook. Sometimes that just doesn't happen. My brain is usually fried by the time I get home.
So the other night I had chicken defrosted. I just stared at it for like 5 minutes like a deer in headlights. I happened to look over and saw that I had forgotten to put my balsamic vinegar back in the cabinet. All of a sudden, it hit me like a ton of bricks.
And that, folks, is how I came to develop this delicious recipe that you and your friends/family will LOVE. Best part about it? It takes less than 3o minutes start to finish and only uses 2 pans. It's o.k., you can comment and tell me how much you love me later.
Balsamic Chicken & Herb Smashed Potatoes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
tsp of kosher salt
tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 onion sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 hot water
2 lbs red potatoes, skin on, cubed
1 TBSP salt (for cooking water)
1/2 cup of heavy cream
6 TBSP butter
1 tsp salt (give or take, depending on your taste)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 scallions, green and whites, sliced (save some for garnish)
1 sprig of fresh thyme, stripped off the branch and coarsley chopped
2 basil leaves, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, minced finely (i grate mine with a microplane for this recipe)
First things first, lets get the prep work out of the way.
Rinse your potatoes. Chop them up into cubes. Place the cubed potatoes and the salt in a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat, covered. Chop up all of your herbs and garlic and mix together in a small bowl. Set aside.
While you are waiting for the potato water to boil, lets get started on that chicken. Rinse your chicken in cold water and trim any excess fat. Pat dry with a paper towel and season both sides with the salt and pepper.
In a cast iron skillet (preferred, but not necessary), heat 4 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat.
When the oil is hot and just starts to smoke, place your chicken, presentation side down in the pan and sear for about 4-6 minutes, or until you see the white, cooked chicken start to creep up the sides.
While that first side of the chicken is searing, slice up your onion and mince the garlic.
Flip the chicken over, throw in the onion and garlic and sautee for about 3-4 minutes.
By this time your potato water should have come to a full boil, reduce the heat to medium low and tilt the lid to avoid boil overs. Continue to cook until fork tender.
Pour 1 cup of balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup of water into the chicken pan and cover, reducing heat to medium low. Cook for about 8-10 minutes.
Drain the tender potatoes and add the drained potatoes, butter, herbs and salt and pepper back to the pot. Cover and set aside.
Remove the lid from the chicken, crank the heat up to high. Flip the chicken over and baste with the balsamic liquid. Do this for 1 minute. Turn off the heat and allow to rest in the pan with the juices while you smash up the potatoes.
Add the heavy cream to the potatoes and smash up with a hand masher, being sure to taste for salt and pepper. (I like my potatoes to be a little chunky, so I go easy on the smashing, personally).
Add some potatoes onto your plate, place a piece of chicken directly on top of the potatoes. Add some of the onions and drizzle with that delicious balsamic reduction. Garnish with reserved scallions.
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