Thursday, 3 February 2011

Roasted Chicken Breasts with Salsa Verde and Potato Pancakes

For all of you who think that chicken and potatoes has to be the most boring of dinner ideas, I present an ultra-flavourful offering of Roasted Chicken Breasts with Salsa Verde and Potato Pancakes. You can make this delicious dinner, adapted from the king of flavour himself - Mr. Michael Symon, in less than an hour.
He uses a whole chicken, I adapted the recipe to use four chicken breasts. Flavoured under the skin, over the skin and right on top, the mouth-puckering zinginess (what? It's a word, no matter what spellcheck says) is complemented with a savoury, crunchy potato pancake that will have you bypass those grocery store hashbrowns and thinking up as many reasons as humanly possible to make them again. Don't believe me? Try them yourself!

Roasted Chicken Breasts With Salsa Verde
Adapted from Michael Symon's Live to Cook
Makes 4 servings

4 large chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on and covering the breast

1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 small shallot, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small bunch of fresh thyme or big pinch of dried
2+1 tablespoons olive oil

1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
4 fresh bay leaves
Salsa Verde (recipe below)

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Make a rough paste with the garlic, thyme, salt, shallot. and 2 tbsp olive oil. Loosen the skin on top of the breasts, smear the paste under the skin of each.
Wedge 2 lemon slices and a bay leaf between the skin and each breast of the chicken. Squeeze the remaining lemon over the skin, rub with olive oil and season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
Put the chicken in a roasting pan, slide it into the oven and roast it until the juices run clear, about 45 minutes. Check for doneness.
Remove chicken from the oven and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Serve with the Salsa Verde.

Why not? Throw that delicious salsa on the spuds too.
Salsa Verde
Adapted from Michael Symon's Live to Cook
Makes 1¼ cups

¼ cup thinly sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons capers
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the parsley, mint, garlic, shallot, lemon zest and juice, capers, jalapeno, red pepper flakes and olive oil in a bowl and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.

We served them with some plain Greek yogurt
Dad's Potato Pancakes
Adapted from Michael Symon's Live to Cook
Makes 8

4 medium russet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 200F.
Peel the potatoes and keep them submerged in cold water.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, baking powder, flour, salt and pepper.  Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the onion and add it to the egg mixture.  Grate the potatoes onto a clean kitchen towel and wring as much water out of them as you can.  Add the potatoes to the egg mixture.  Toss so that the mixture is evenly combined.
Heat a medium saute pan over medium heat and melt half of the butter in it.  Using half of the potato mixture, shape 4 pancakes, each about 4 inches of diameter and about 1/2 inch thick.  Saute the pancakes in the butter until each side is golden brown and the interior is cooked through, 15-20 minutes.  Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels and keep them warm in the oven while you shape and cook 4 more pancakes using the remaining butter and potato mixture.

Maybe I should have used a blue plate...