Side Dish Star!


I recently read an article about how to be a better cook. One of the things the article talked about is how you should read the recipe in it’s entirety before even starting to cook.  This is something that I do for every recipe I make.  Actually I tend to read a recipe several times.  I have found I am not entirely fond of this next cookbook for the reason it’s really difficult to read a complete recipe.

The cookbook I am referring to is Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes.

The approach the cookbook takes is to help you put together an entire meal all at the same time.  The page I had tagged for example was for a complete meal which contained smashed potatoes, sauted spinach, broiled chicken and a strawberry drink.  Yikes!  And the “recipe” bounces from one of the dishes the next, never giving a complete list of instructions for one particular dish.  Since I didn’t want to have a panic attack I decided to only make the smashed potatoes and the broiled chicken.

I started by boiling some water and putting small white potatoes in the boiling water, covering the pan with a lid and letting the potatoes cook for about 14 minutes when they were tender.


I jumped to the chicken.  I put a pinch of dried oregano, paprika, salt and pepper along with a drizzle of olive oil on a sheet of parchment paper.


I then rolled boneless skinless chicken breasts in the spices.


I heated my cast iron skillet over high heat and warmed a bit of olive oil and butter.  Then once hot I added the chicken and browned all sides.


Once the chicken was browned I placed it on a glass baking dish and surrounded it by cherry tomatoes, lemon wedges and rosemary (the herb not me).  Then I poured the drippings from the skillet over the chicken and laid a piece of bacon on each.


The dish went into a preheated broiler for 14 minutes.  I put the cast iron skillet back on the stove, heated some more olive oil and added a crushed clove of garlic, some rosemary leaves and a bay leaf over medium heat.


Once the potatoes were done boiling I drained them and added them to the skillet.  I took a smaller pan and smashed them down, sprinkles with salt and a bit more olive oil and let them cook for around 3 minutes.


After 3 minutes I stirred the potatoes around a bit and then smashed again, seasoned with salt and let cook for 3 minutes.  This repeated until the chicken was removed from the broiler.


And then everything was plated together (with the addition of some broccolini I had leftover from the previous recipe!)


The Verdict:  The star of the meal was the potatoes!!  Oh my gosh were they great!  And they really weren’t that complicated to execute.  The chicken did not have a much flavor as I wanted it have so for that reason I won’t be making it again.  But if you want to try those potatoes click on the link below for the recipe!

Recipe for Smashed Potatoes

And if you happen to see my cast iron skillet has a blue rubbery thing on it, that is a silicone handle holder which assists in not making me burn myself.  I love it so if you want one you can find them on Amazon on the link below.