Friday, January 4, 2013

Always Put Your Foot in the Potatoes

I would love to start out this blog by saying I make the best mashed potatoes ever, but that would be incorrect. My Grandmother does. She taught me everything she knows and I added to it thinking I may do better. There's something to be said about the original. It's simple, it has just enough salt, and it will make you slap your proverbial pappy.

But my potatoes are good.

After our feast of roast beef on New Year's Day, I was pleased to discover the horseradish sauce (made simply with horseradish sauce, sour cream, and whole grain mustard) was almost exactly what today's recipe for Seared Chicken with Smashed Potatoes and Cream Sauce called for. I didn't have to whip up a new batch and I could use what was left over saving time and money. Hurray!

I'm not saying this recipe was bad--because it wasn't--but it could have used work. I guess I just can't help myself--smashed potatoes? They are disappointing next to mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes--mine anyway--have chicken broth, evaporated milk, butter, and salt (and on occasion, ranch if no one else is eating them). But let's move on to something a bit more positive. Let's proceed with one of the best aromas in the entire universe--simmering wine. Wine over heat, especially combined with other tremendous odors like garlic or lemon, is just divine. My gravy, if you'll recall, is my favorite dish from Thanksgiving--it goes over everything. The sauce for this recipe certainly could have been doctored a bit, but it was, by far, the best part of this dining experience.


    1 1/2 pound(s) small red potatoes (about 20)
    Kosher salt and pepper
    1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
    4 (6-oz each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    3/4 cup(s) dry white wine
    1/4 cup(s) lowfat sour cream

    1 tablespoon(s) Dijon mustard
    1/4 cup(s) fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, add 2 tsp salt, reduce heat and simmer until just tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water; drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Gently smash with 1/4 cup of the cooking water (adding more if the potatoes seem very dry).
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper and cook until golden brown and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side; transfer to plates.
  3. Add the wine to the skillet and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the sour cream, mustard and parsley. Spoon over the potatoes and chicken

I use my favorite dry white Chardonnay to make sauces, because it truly makes all the difference in the flavor. Then you can also pour a glass with dinner as a compliment.

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