Saturday, August 22, 2009

Herb Roasted Chicken and Smashed Potatoes

It's back-to-school time, which means back-to-routine, and back to cooking ;-). We've been gone nearly the entire summer (two weeks in Massachusetts, two weeks in California, nearly a week for me in Washington, DC), which meant I barely cooked all summer, and when I did, it was mainly throwing those Bertolli 9-minute meals into a pan. Don't get me wrong--those are pretty awesome and yummy.

But now I have that cooking bug again and am going to try to fit in a few new recipes among two very, very tight deadlines :-)

I had this recipe for an Herb-Roasted Whole Chicken with Tomatoes from the Food Network Magazine that I'd been wanting to try. Trouble was, I didn't have a whole chicken ;-). I only had chicken breasts. I knew the recipe would be infinitely better with a whole chicken, but I wasn't about to run out to the store just for a chicken. I had these fabulous and fresh tomatoes that my friend Marci had given me from her garden, plus plenty of herbs, so that part of the recipe was set. I didn't have walnuts, and don't really like them outside of salad, so I nixed those.

Instead, I pan-seared the breasts, smeared them with the herb mixture as the recipe indicated (tarragon, dill, cilantro, parsley, salt, pepper ), then roasted it at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Added the tomato slices, tossing them with the herb mixture, too, then roasted for another 10-15 minutes at 375. Served it with the sauce on the side, because my family isn't big on sauce, even if I am :-)

I also made smashed potatoes, which are way easier than mashed. Boiled my potatoes, then peeled them, and mashed them in the pan with some milk, 1/2 of an 8-ounce package of low-fat cream cheese, 3 tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper to taste. DH was very happy to have real mashed potatoes (not that I even make boxed ones) and so were the kids.

Served it with Garlicky Green Beans, a perennial favorite around here. :-)

All in all, a great meal, and family was pleased to see home-cooked on the menu once again. Even after two weeks of restaurant dining in sunny California :-)


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