Meat and Potatoes

\Meat and potatoes.  I know some guys who think this means a Whopper and fries.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with Burger King.  But for the love of food, don’t make it a habit.  There’s beater, cheaper, tastier ways to serve up meat and potatoes.

The other day after a bike ride around Boston, I needed a baked potato.  Just one of those cravings.  So I decided on Italian dressing chicken, baked potato and mixed veggie.

What you’ll need…

  • Chicken (I use boneless chicken breast)
  • Potoatoes
  • Italian dressing (any kind, or you can just use oil and spices… it’s up to you)
  • Frozen veggie (up to you on what kind)
  • oil or butter
  • frying pan

First and foremost.  Remember to put the potatoes in the oven first.  They take way longer than the chicken to cook.  I left them in the oven for an hour and a half but figure on at least an hour at 375*.  Before you put them in the oven, make sure you scrub them clean.  All you really need to do is run them under water and use a brush if you have one – if not use your hand like you were rubbing a baseball.  After they’re clean, cut an “X” on them so they don’t explode.  Place the potatoes right on the rack in the oven.

That’s the set and forget step.  This is when I took a shower.  (Yes, I washed my hands before starting the potatoes!)

Next up it’s chicken prep time.  Make sure the meat is defrosted.  It doesn’t have to be completely defrosted, in fact if it’s still a bit frozen it may make cutting it easier.   Just make sure 1) you don’t cook it in the microwave while defrosting and 2) you’re not trying to cut an ice cube of chicken.

There’s no wrong way to cut the chicken.   If I’m eating it with pasta or rice I’ll cut it smaller.  If I’m making cutlets (a later installment) I cut it thinner.

After the chicken is cut, get the frying pan ready.  The size of the pan will obviously depend on how much chicken you plan on cooking.  I make sure that all of the chicken I cut fits on the pan in a single layer.  To get the pan ready, put in the oil or butter and turn the burner on.  Start at medium low (I use an electric oven).  It’s much easier to turn up the heat than turn it down since turning down the burner doesn’t immediately release the heat from the pan!  Wait until the butter melts or the oil is warm and more fluid.  Swish it around the pan to make sure it’s covered.  Don’t use too much or you’ll have oil soup.  Make sure there’s enough so the chicken doesn’t stick, though.

Once the oil is ready, put the chicken in.  After the chicken turns a little white, put the dressing (or whatever you’re using for flavor) in.

Once the chicken has cooked for a while, you’ll notice it’ll start turning white and not be pink any more.  After that happens, you can add in your veggie of choice.  Now, if you want to add frozen veggies, you may want to cook them in the microwave first.  If you add fresh veggies, you may want to add them earlier depending on how hard or soft you want them. (That’s what she said?)  I use a spatula to mix the chicken, veggies and “sauce” around.

Now if you’ve timed this right, by the time your veggies are simmering in chickeny, oily, dressing-y goodness you can check the potatoes to see if they are ready.   This is very simple.  All you need to do is stick a fork in them and see if the fork sticks.  Generally, when they are all done, the fork will slide in easily and come out easily.  If it’s hard to stick the fork in they’re not done yet.  Don’t be afraid to overcook them.

Turn the heat down low on the pan that has the chicken and let it all simmer for a while.  If things dry out, rather than adding more dressing or oil add a little bit of water.  It’ll keep things healthier, easier to clean and honestly it’ll just taste better than chicken bombarded with dressing or seasoning.

Once the potatoes are ready then you’re good to go!  I would have added a picture of the food on my plate – but I was so freakin’ hungry I couldn’t wait once it was done.  You’ll have to make do with the finished result in the pan just before it was inhaled.  I am fairly certainly I chewed a few times.

Pictured is enough food to last me for more than one meal.  More like enough for supper and a couple lunches.  Good luck… don’t be scared! 

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~ by NJC on October 20, 2010.

2 Responses to “Meat and Potatoes”

  1. Look at you…Man Food Blog awesomeness! So glad you are doing the blog! Can’t wait to see all the Man food to come, hehe 😉

  2. […] only going to talk about the sauce here.  The chicken can be cooked in the pan how you normally […]

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