Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Baked Chicken with Creamed Spinach and Squashed Potatoes

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I decided to try another recipe from my Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes cookbook recently, and this happened:

I don't know why I don't use this cookbook more often!  This time I decided to make Baked Chicken with Creamed Spinach and Squashed Potatoes.

Now, did it happen in about 30 minutes this time you ask?  No.  Did it happen in about 2 x 30 minutes this time?  Close.

This is really yummy.  The chicken gets smothered in tasty herbs and then topped with bacon (mmm...bacon) before going into the oven along with some cherry tomatoes for colour and deliciousness.  Anything with bacon is good, even vodka, as we learned from my Bacon Night post.

While the chicken is cooking in the oven, up on the stovetop you are making the easiest side dishes ever...creamed spinach and squashed potatoes.
Creamed Spinach
Squashed Potatoes
Then you spoon the spinach onto the plate, top it with the chicken, tomatoes, and bacon, put some potatoes on the side, and you have a pretty nice looking supper.

Oops, I forgot the bacon
That's better!
It's a totally easy and delicious weeknight meal, and also my stomach is seriously growling right now.

A week or so after I made this chicken dinner, my sister-in-law Caitlin (she's officially in the family now, so no longer my husband's brother's fiance) and I tackled another Meals in Minutes recipe for Round 2 of 'Let's Attempt To Make A Recipe From Our Meals In Minutes Cookbooks And Play Cards' night.  It was...comical.  This was of course a follow-up to Round 1.  We both got the cookbook from our mother-in-law for Christmas last year (I love cookbooks), and you may remember my story about our first attempt making Green Curry Chicken, which didn't go so well.  Mental note: for Round 3, maybe less booze and silliness, more serious business cooking.  Wait, that doesn't sound like much fun at all!  Maybe instead it should be: same amount of booze and silliness, same amount of regular business cooking, less amount of caring how it turns out.  Anyways, more on that night soon.  For now, I will leave you with this great Jamie Oliver recipe for Baked Chicken with Creamed Spinach and Squashed Potatoes.


Tray-Baked Chicken With Creamed Spinach and Squashed Potatoes

  • 1 1/2 lbs. small red-skinned potatoes or baby white potatoes
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Salt
Ingredients - CHICKEN
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 4 x 6 oz. skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 oz. cherry tomatoes
  • 4 slices smoked bacon
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic 
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 lb. baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 oz. parmesan cheese, grated
Fill a kettle and boil water.  Wash the potatoes, then halve length-wise (or leave whole if using baby white potatoes), and add to a saucepan with a pinch of salt.  Cover with the boiled water, cover with a lid, and boil on high for 12 - 14 minutes, or until cooked through.

Check the potatoes are cooked, then drain and let air dry for a couple of minutes.  Add 2 tbsp. olive oil and the leaves from the rosemary to a frying pan.  Put the potatoes on top of the herbs in a flat layer, drizzle with the other 2 tbsp. of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.  Crush in the 6 unpeeled cloves garlic, then turn the heat up to high.  Using a lid or something heavy, press down on the potatoes so that they burst and squash.  Leave to colour, then toss after about 3 minutes and press down on them again.  Keep checking, squashing, and tossing so that the potatoes become golden all over.

Trim and thinly slice the green onions.  Add to a large shallow pan with the olive oil.  Crush in 3 cloves of unpeeled garlic, and add a small amount of hot water.  Pick the leaves off of the thyme and add then to the pan, along with the nutmeg and the butter.  Leave to cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place the spinach into the pan and leave to wilt, working in batches if necessary.  Keep stirring to prevent anything from sticking to the pan.

Once the spinach is completely wilted, pour in the cream, then turn the heat down to low.  Add the parmesan cheese, and stir well.

Directions - BAKED CHICKEN
Put a large frying pan on high heat, and add 1 tbsp. olive oil and the butter to the pan.  Place chicken in pan, and top with dried oregano, sweet paprika, and salt and pepper.  Drizzle with the other tbsp. olive oil.  Fry the chicken for 4 or 5 minutes, or until golden on both sides (chicken will cook more later).

Quarter the lemon, and add the tomatoes and lemon to a baking dish or roasting pan.  Place the chicken breasts in the baking dish, along with any juices from the pan.  Lay the bacon on top of the chicken breasts.

Put the frying pan back on medium heat, and add the sprigs of rosemary to the pan, moving the around so that they get covered in the juices.  Put the rosemary into the backing dish with the chicken.  Broil on high, uncovered,  for at least 14 minutes.           

Recipe Source:  Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes


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