Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Tray Baked Chicken and Quick Dauphinoise

I'm going back to Jamie's 30 minute meals cook book today. You will recall that I have already featured this book a couple of times. I have loved every one of the meals I have tried so far and my little darlings totally agree. I know this book also features at B's house quite often as do all of Jamie's books. I dare say I will be making quite a few of these 30 minute meals as they all seem very tempting.

I think B and I have both mentioned the length of time it takes to get these meals on the table, and at the risk of repeating myself I will do so once again. Jamie insists that it only takes 30 minutes to make these meals and I can honestly say it comes extremely close each time I have made one of his dishes. Follow his advice when he says read the recipe and have all your ingredients on hand and ready to go before you begin.

Mr M and I love a good potato bake and I have made a few over the years. This recipe in Jamie's book caught my eye as I'm a fan of "anchovies" (I can hear a few of you saying....."eww hairy fish!"). I'll be honest, I can't actually just eat them out of the jar but I love the flavours they bring to dishes and after making this dauphinoise (meaning: a French potato dish made with cream, milk and cheese) I will now change the way I make my potato bake as it was seriously delicious.

I also made a chicken recipe from the same book to go with this potato dish. They complimented each other. Both very tasty and equally easy to make. The chicken has a coating of tasty spices and is able to be cooked in the one pan.

You will need: (for the chicken)
Dried oregano
Sweet paprika
Knob of butter
4 x 180g skinless chicken breasts
1 lemon
300g cherry tomatoes on the vine (if you are able to get them on the vine)
4 rashers of bacon
Couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary

You will need: (for the dauphinoise - potato bake).
1 red onion
1 kg of potatoes
1 nutmeg
2 cloves of garlic
1 x 300ml tub of thickened cream
4 anchovies in oil
Parmesan cheese
2 bay leaves
Small bunch of fresh thyme

For the dauphinoise, peel and halve the onion. Wash the potatoes. You can leave the skins on if your potatoes are nice and clean. If you have a food processor you may like to slice the potatoes and the onions together. If not, just slice them as thinly and evenly as you can.

Tip into a large sturdy roasting tray (approx 35x25cm) and season. Grate over 1/4 of the nutmeg, add the two cloves of crushed garlic and pour in 225ml of cream.
Tear in the anchovies and finely grate over, a large handful of Parmesan cheese. Add the bay leaves, pick the leaves from a few thyme sprigs and add a good drizzle of olive oil.

Use your clean hands to quickly mix and toss everything together, then put the tray over a medium heat. Pour in 200ml of boiling water, cover tightly with tin foil and leave on heat for about 8 minutes. Give the tray a shake so nothing catches.

Remove the tin foil. Finely grate over a layer of Parmesan. Drizzle the remaining thyme sprigs with some olive oil and scatter on top and put into oven (220 degrees) and cook for 15 - 20 minutes, or until golden brown and potatoes are cooked.
Very tasty indeed.
Now for the tray baked chicken. Get out a large sheet of baking or greaseproof paper and place it on your kitchen bench. Sprinkle over a good pinch of dried oregano (I used about 2 tablespoons), salt and pepper and some paprika (about 1 tablespoon). Then drizzle over some olive oil.

Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. (My frying pan can go in the oven so I was able to just put everything in the one pan) add a knob of butter and a good lug of olive oil to the pan.

While your pan is heating lay the chicken breasts on top of the greaseproof paper and roll them in the mixture. Add to the hot pan and fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden on both sides.

You will need a roasting tray if your pan doesn't go in the oven. Quarter the lemon and chuck (love Jamie's words) it in the tray along with the vine tomatoes (mine weren't on the vine this time). Tip in the chicken breasts and any juices from the pan. Use the tongs to arrange everything nicely, then lay the bacon on top of the breasts.  Add the sprigs of rosemary.

Pop your tray or pan into the hot oven and depending on the size of your chicken breasts cook for around 15minutes until cooked through.

I added some baby spinach leaves also.
I'm still coming to terms with the fact that my Miss 9 actually tried potato bake!! After all the years I have offered it and been knocked back. She decided to give it a try this time, anchovies and all and yes, she LOVED it. Good work my Miss C.

Enjoy! M x

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