Free-Range Savory Chix n’ Potayduz – One Pan, One Spoon, One Knife. HOLLA!

Okay fine, so the title of this recipe is a little over-the-top.  But listen to me people, this really is a punky miracle dinner: juicy, savory, flavorful chicken and crispy, buttery potatoes done all in one pan and ready in 35 minutes!  Say it out loud for fun times: FREE-RANGE SAVORY CHIX n’ POTAYDUZ!

Seriously, have you ever seen anything so delicious in your LIFE?

Seriously, have you ever seen anything so delicious in your LIFE?

Now, let me start by giving credit for the inspiration for this dish to my all-time chef idol, (and hopefully my future-best-friend), Ina Garten.  (I love you, Ina.)  Ina Garten recently was seen on the Food Network cooking a whole chicken in a big pan with all the vegetables scattered around it at the same time.  “That is genius,” thought one Punky Chef.  But I must say, Ina’s version looks very complicated to me – lots of stuffing and tying-off and tucking, not to mention the hour and half in the oven.  Well THIS punk is just too hungry and impetuous to ever wait that long!  So instead, I have taken the general idea and made it my own… just like Andy Warhol with the Campbell’s Soup Cans, eh?  Ha-HAH!  PUNK IT UP.  (And come with me…)

Serves: 2

TOOLS:
Big knife
Spoon
2 smallish round baking pans
Small saucepan
Tin foil
Paper towel

INGREDIENTS:
2 Free-range chicken breasts, skin on (and try to find them where the skin really covers the top)
20-ish “Peewee” potatoes (I find them at my
Farmer’s Market and also in the grocery store.  Not sure whether “Peewee” is a technical term or just a brand name.  Hey, at least I’m honest, people.)

buhtaytas

2 large pats butter (maybe 2 tblspns each?)
Kosher salt/pepper

RECIPE:
Okay, PREHEAT your oven to 425º and get ready for the easiest prep sitch EVER.  (“Prep sitch” = preparation situation.)  (I’m all about abbreviations today.)

1. Rinse the two chicken breasts and pat dry with a paper towel.  Put one in each round pan.  2. Slice the little potatoes (POTAYDUZ!  so fun to say!) in half, and divide your numbers evenly between the two round pans.  3. Melt the butter in the little saucepan and pour over everything.  4. Salt and pepper liberally.

Oh my god, that’s IT?

YES.  You see what I’m saying?

One.  (Note 1 nice pan and 1 recycled pie crust pan.  So punky.)

One. (Note 1 nice pan and 1 recycled pie crust pan. So punky.)

Two.  (Slicey, slicey.)

Two. (Slicey, slicey.)

THREE. (Sorry these are all sideways.  Do not adjust your brain.  It's not you, it's me.  I just can't be bothered right now.)

THREE! (Sorry these are all sideways. It's not you, it's me. I just can't be bothered right now.)

BUT: Just three little tips before we toss ’em in the oven: 1. Make sure some of your potayduz are facing up and some down – that way you’ll get a nice variety of crispy and less crispy when you pull them out.  2. I suggest that you melt the two pats of butter separately so you don’t pour it all out into the first pan and then have none left over for the second.  3. Once you pour the butter in, jostle the pans a bit to move the chix n’ potayduz around a little and make sure the butter gets underneath them.  Don’t want any bad sticking!

(I don’t know about you, but those sideways pictures are making me dizzy.  Yet I’m just sick of battling it out with WordPress to make images rotate, so there.)

(It really does look weird though, doesn’t it?)

OKAY!  And now you just pop those babies in the oven for 20 minutes, and you’re DONE.

Seriously?

Seriously.

Wow.

Well, no.  Okay, there is one more step.  After the 20 minutes are up, pull the pans out of the oven and with your spoon, “baste” them with the butter in the bottom.  Just a couple spoonfuls over each.

Tip the pan to get a nice spoonful.  "Just a spoonful of butter helps the medicine go down..."  What the hell am I talking about?

Tip the pan to get a nice spoonful. And note thumb from Mickey Mouse oven mit in lower left corner.

Now place back in the oven for 10 more minutes!

And that’s it?

That’s it!

Wow!

Well, no, actually okay there is ONE more step.  After the 10 minutes are up, pull the pans out again and baste one more time, then put back in for just 5 more minutes.  (So you’ve done 20 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes.  That’s pretty easy to remember, eh?)  The butter makes everything brown and mouth-watering, and the basting keeps it all moist.  Think of it like a mini-Thanksgiving turkey.  Ahh, memories.

And now?

YOU’RE DONE!

Um-yum-yum-yum. Um-yum-yum-yum.

Um-yum-yum-yum. Um-yum-yum-yum.

EXCEPT! Patience is a virtue, and there is one. last. step.  But believe me, (and believe Ina Garten who taught me this through the television), this last step makes ALL the difference.  Simply cover the pan loosely-ish with a sheet of tin foil, and let sit as long as you can stand it, or about ten minutes.

Oh heavenly aroma!  How shall I keep my hunger at bay for lo these last few moments!!?

Oh heavenly aroma! How shall I keep my hunger at bay for lo these last few moments!!?

This covering causes the chix to soak the last juices back up a bit and makes it incredibly moist and even more flavorful.  Just trust me on this one.  Praise be to the Garten for this one.

And now… Place the Chix n’ Potayduz on your plate, drizzle the sumptuous pan juices over everything, and SERVE and ENJOY!!

HUMINAH HUMINAH HUMINAH HUMINAH...

HUMINAH HUMINAH HUMINAH HUMINAH...

THE CRISP!  THE BUTTERY SALTY YUMMINESS!  THE SAVORY MOIST CHIX!  You can even be dipping the meat into the sauce as you go, so that every single bite is bursting with flavor.  It’s really the greatest thing ever.  AND it’s actually healthy because remember, we only used about 3 tablespoons of butter for each and nothing is fried or oily or nuthin’!

ONE NOTE:
A quandary for all you brainy budding food scientists out there:  the Chix n’ Potayduz in the smaller pan took longer to cook and didn’t come out as dark for some reason.  Did I not evenly distribute the butter?  Is there something about surface area I need to learn?  Do re-used pie crust pans just not do the job as well?

No matter.  I just put the less-browned pan back in the oven for five more minutes and then continued with my tin-foiling and plating as though nothing ever happened.  Both Chix came out equally as flavorful, and in fact the husband of Punky Chef doesn’t like things as well done as Punky Chef herself, so it worked out excellently for both of us.  Here’s what the smaller pan looked like out of the oven:

Ahh, a lighter shade of fabulous.  Gentle.  Serene.

Ahh, a lighter shade of fabulous. Gentle. Serene.

And once covered for ten min, and then plated, all was well…

HOLLA!  (Oh sorry, we're going for "serene" here.)  Ahhh...

HOLLA! (Oh sorry, we're going for "serene" here.) Ahhh...

So there you have it, peeps!  The LEAST labor-intensive unbelievably mind-blowing dinner you will ever make!  And when all is done, the greatest thing is that your sink only looks like this:

I mean, really.  It should be illegal, it's so easy.

I mean, really. It should be illegal.

Oh, and… you’re welcome.

WACKA WACKA.

wuv,
Sam

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