Trouble With Toast

Recipe: Pan-Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Balsamic Vinegar | February 10, 2010

It is well-documented that I love roasted chicken and potatoes.  After all, the crispy skin of the chicken and the satisfying crunch of the potatoes are so very satisfying.  However, sometimes I don’t want to wait the 1-2 hours that it takes to cook such things – and by “sometimes,” I mean pretty much any weeknight.

This recipe allowed me to savor some of the flavors and textures of roasting while still making sure that everything was on the table in about 30 minutes.  The first time-saver is the use of bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts rather than a whole bird (and for those of you who freak out about anything other than boneless/skinless, relax…you don’t have to eat the skin if you don’t want to, and the bone doesn’t have any nutritional impact one way or another).  Also, browing the breasts in a hot skillet before roasting gives the skin a great color and texture that usually takes a lot more time.  Softening the potatoes in the microwave prior to pan- and oven-roasting them also shaves time off your prep and ensures that the spuds will be cooked all the way through.

The balsamic sauce really takes this dish over the edge – it was super duper robust and flavorful.  If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet, you should DEFINITELY invest in one – but in the meantime, just relocate the potatoes and chicken from the skillet to a roasting pan before putting them in the oven.  Voila!

  • 1.5 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 450.  Combine potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Microwave, covered, until potatoes begin to soften, about 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Heat additional 1 tablespoon oil in large oven-safe skillet over medium high heat until just smoking.  Cook chicken until well browned, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to plate.  Add potatoes to skillet and cook until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.  Arrange chicken, skin side up, on top of potatoes.  Roast until chicken registers 160 degrees and potatoes are completely tender, about 12-15 minutes.

Whisk vinegar, garlic, thyme, pepper flakes, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Drizzle vinegar mixture over chicken and potatoes. 

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