One thing that's almost guaranteed to make me do a second take on a recipe when I'm flipping through a book or magazine is a title containing the word "skillet." To me that means I'm only going to dirty one pan to make that meal, and that my friends, is music to my ears. They're the kind of recipes we make fairly often around here, especially during the week - our current favorites are probably this lasagna and fiesta chicken and rice.
Had this pan-roasted chicken and potatoes not had an accompanying photo in the book that showcased it all in one pan and indicated it used bone-in, skin-on chicken (crispy chicken skin = major weakness of mine), I might have flipped right past but I'm so glad I didn't. The potatoes are par-cooked in the microwave first, allowing them to roast at the same rate as the chicken in the oven, so technically the dish isn't made entirely in the skillet, but close enough in my book! It's comfort food I can have on the table in about 30 minutes, can't beat that. Oh, and there's even a simple balsamic dressing drizzled on top to really amp up the flavor. Balsamic vinegar is one of my favorite things in the world so this was right up my alley but if you're not a fan you can definitely skip it.
Pan-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes with Balsamic Dressing
from The Best Simple Recipes
A few notes:
-The recipe called for a nonstick skillet, but I used cast iron without any problems.
-The cooking time indicated for the chicken assumes each breast is about 12 oz - if yours are larger, they're going to take longer.
-If you use a different type of potato, it may not hold its shape as well as the red ones do.
1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 3 lbs)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 450 F with a rack in the bottom position.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and microwave for 4-7 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to soften (microwaves vary greatly so your cooking time may be longer or shorter).
Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Set a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When the oil is very hot, add the chicken (skin side down) and cook until well browned, about 5 minutes per side (you're not trying to cook it through here). Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Add the softened potatoes to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown. Add the chicken back to the pan, placing it skin side up on top of the potatoes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked through (it'll register 160 F on an instant read thermometer), about 13-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the vinegar, the garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then drizzle over the chicken and potatoes before serving.