Thursday, June 26, 2008

Skillet Chicken and Potatoes

Chicken and potatoes are combined in myriad forms, most of which require multiple pans and cooking methods. We wanted to find a way to cook the two together in one pan, as simply and as quickly as possible--without, of course, the dish tasting boring. Here’s what we discovered:

Test Kitchen Discoveries

Use quick-cooking, small red potatoes and boneless, skinless chicken cutlets. Parcook the potatoes in the microwave so that they just need to be browned in the skillet before they are ready to eat. Flour the chicken cutlets so they have a crisp, well-browned exterior and a moist, tender interior. Make a quick sauce by simmering chicken broth, fresh chopped sage, lemon juice, and the browned chicken in the skillet. The browned bits left behind after browning the chicken will lend valuable flavor to the sauce. And the flour coating on the chicken will help thicken the sauce. Add the butter to the sauce at the very last minute. It should be whisked constantly until incorporated; otherwise it may “break” (the butter will float to the top of the sauce).

Skillet Chicken and Potatoes
Serves 4

If you prefer, substitute fresh thyme or oregano for the sage.

1 pound small red potatoes , halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets (6 to 7 ounces each), trimmed
Table salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Toss potatoes and 1 tablespoon oil together in microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high power until tender, 4 to 5 minutes, tossing potatoes halfway through cooking.

2. Place flour in shallow dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper, dredge in flour, and shake to remove excess. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. When foam subsides, cook chicken until browned on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate, leaving fat in skillet, and cover chicken with foil.

3. Reduce heat to medium, add potatoes, cut side down, and cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to platter. Add broth, sage, and lemon juice and, using wooden spoon, scrape browned bits from skillet. Return chicken and accumulated juices to pan and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened and chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to platter with potatoes. Whisk remaining tablespoon butter into sauce, season with salt and pepper, and pour sauce over chicken and potatoes. Serve.

Recipe from an America's Test Kitchen e-mail newsletter.

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