Posts Tagged ‘potatoes’

A Better Mashed

November 28, 2012

I’ve been experimenting with mashed potatoes recently.  There have been some innovations on the mashed potato front (at least in my lifetime) in the form of garlic mashed, and loaded mashed potatoes.  And while I have some thoughts about other things to do to potatoes, my experiments led me to something a little more basic.

My usual recipe for mashed potatoes goes something like this:

8 Medium potatoes, peeled and diced
4 Tbs minced garlic
olive oil
stick of butter
water (start with 2 cups)

Heat the oil in a pot.

Add the garlic, stir briskly for less than a minute, then add the water, and then the potatoes.  Add additional water to bring the level up to nearly the top of the potatoes.

Boil the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and the water level has diminished, then add the whole stick of butter and mash the potatoes.

Makes some decent garlic mashed potatoes, but…

The other night I tried something a little different.  I made two changes.  The first was I diced an onion to add in with the potatoes.  But the other was genius (I think so, anyway)….

Instead of using water to boil the potatoes, I used a can of vegetable broth.  Wow!  Made it very yummy.

I may try chicken broth on another occasion…

More on my potato experiments in the coming weeks!


Italian Roast Chicken with Potatoes

May 28, 2009

So the other night I accidentally burned my hand on the oven rack while making this meal for my family, so I’m bloging the recipe to get even.  Or something.

Olive Oil
Italian Seasoning
Lemon Juice

So as usual, we use the boneless, skinless frozen chicken breasts, but you can feel free to use whatever chicken pieces you want to.

While I defrost them in the microwave, I’m cutting the potatoes, one to two per person, depending on appetites.  You can cut them into thick chunks, but I prefer smaller chunks (an average potato gets cut into about 40 pieces).  Smaller chunks cook faster and have more surface area to absorb (and carry into your mouth) the flavors of the spices.  I dump them into a 9×14 pan, drizzle some olive oil over them, garlic (I use minced garlic from a jar for speed and consistency, but you can use chopped garlic in a jar or – gasp – chop it up yourself) – about two forkfuls, then mix thoroughly.  Sprinkle on the three spices (Italian seasoning, oregano and basil, in our case bought in bulk) very liberally, mix again and stick in the oven that you pre-heated to about 425.  (You did remember to preheat the oven, didn’t you?  Heh, neither did I…)

Ok, while the spuds are starting to cook, I start working on the chicken.  Take the defrosted chicken (or, if yours wasn’t frozen to begin with, take the chicken out of the refrigerator) and coat with olive oil and lemon juice.  Basically, I use a dinner plate, create a small shallow lake of lemon juice and olive oil in just about equal proportions, and coat the meat with it by rolling the chicken in the mixture.  Then I take another forkful of the minced garlic and smear it all over the chicken breasts.  Minced garlic from the jar is about the right consistency for this.  If you aren’t using that, you could pierce the chicken and stuff garlic bits into the meat, or tuck it under the skin if you aren’t using skinless chicken.

Pull the pan of potatoes out of the oven after its been in about 10 minutes or so (being careful not to burn yourself on the oven rack, unlike myself), and put the chicken pieces on top of the potatoes.  Pour the remaining olive oil/lemon juice mixture over the chicken (as long as you don’t drown the potatoes) and sprinkle the three seasonings heavily on the chicken.

Put it back into the oven until the chicken has cooked thoroughly.  Half an hour or so, depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces.  Be sure to cut the chicken to check it is done through before serving.