Monday, October 24, 2016

Chicken and Potatoes with Creamy Garlic Parmesan Sauce

So crock pot meals are great when you're busy and all, but I realize that in order to make a crock pot meal, you have to think about it in the morning (or at least by early lunch). What's that all about, right? So for those of you who get to 4:00 o'clock and start thinking, "My tummy just growled, which means--wait--a meal-time is approaching; I have literally not thought about it until this moment, and soon my children will begin eating each other," then this meal is for you.

This meal is awesome because all the stuff goes into one pan and then that pan goes into the oven and then you can resume reading your book or breaking up fights over Candy Land or telling Tommy to stop licking the baby--whatever is your past time of choice. And then you'll get the pan out of the oven and, guess what? Dinner will be done. There will be meat, and potatoes, and healthy leafy greens, and a delicious sauce to pour over it all. Congratulations! You're a rock star and nobody had to smash a guitar or eat the baby.

Chicken and Potatoes with Creamy Garlic Parmesan Sauce
adapted from here
Serves 6
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Cost: $8.35 ($1.55/serving)
chicken: $5.00, spinach: .60, potatoes: 1.00, butter: .65, chicken broth: .10, half and half: .15, Parmesan: .50, seasonings: .35

4-6 chicken breasts, depending on how well-endowed your chicken was (or bone-in skin-on thighs if dark meat is your thing)
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
3 Tbsp butter, melted
3 C spinach, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1 lb potatoes, diced into centimeter-sized cubes (peeled or not)

For the garlic Parmesan cream sauce:

1/4 C butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp flour
1 C chicken broth
1 tsp dried thyme (twice as much if using fresh)
1/2 tsp dried basil (twice as much if using fresh)
1/2 C half and half (or 1/4 C milk and 1/4 C cream)
1/2 C grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Season chicken with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. If you're feeling fancy, you can then melt 2 Tbsp butter in a skillet and sear the chicken on both sides. But if you're pressed for time, or can't bear thinking of dirtying that skillet, just skip this step and put the seasoned chicken in a 9x13 inch pan.

Now add the chopped spinach and pour the remaining butter over all of this. (If you already got out the skillet, you can cook the spinach in the butter in the skillet and then put it in the pan, but again this step is skip-able for the lazy at heart).

Chop your potatoes and put them in the pan with the chicken and spinach and butter.

To make the garlic Parmesan sauce:

Heat butter in a pot over medium heat. Add garlic cloves and cook until fragrant (30 seconds or so). Add flour and whisk until smooth. Let it cook about a minute. Add chicken broth, thyme, basil--whisking as you add them.  Add half and half and Parmesan, whisking away and let it cook for another minute or two until it is slightly thickened.

Pour this over the chicken, spinach, and potatoes.

Put in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes (longer if your chicken breasts are big or your potato cubes are big).

Take it out and serve.


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