Monday, October 27, 2008

Sage and Parsley Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes and Gravy

Mmmm, sage. While I was visiting some friends in Champaign-Urbana a few weeks ago, we went out to a farm in the area and picked bags of fresh herbs. I picked what seemed like a scant amount of sage, but it turns out, I have more of the stuff than I know what to do with. I used part of it in my Butternut Risotto last week, but that still left me with 90% of what I had originally bought. My boss was telling me this week about baked herbed chicken made with a wine gravy that she's tried before, and that sounded pretty good to me, so I thought I'd give it a whirl with the fresh herbs that I happened to have in my kitchen: sage, of course, and parsley. It turned into a very 'comfort food' kind of meal; a steaming mound of mashed potatoes, a tender chicken breast, and a smooth and delicious gravy to top it all off. I made this for two people, and the amount of potatoes was actually just right (although we had an extra serving of gravy leftover). But obviously, you can adjust this to accommodate a larger dinner crowd very easily. The gravy is made with cornstarch, by the way, but feel free to subsitute another starch (arrowroot, perhaps) if you are avoiding corn. Using only cornstarch, I discovered, will also give your gravy a nice little sheen, so if you'd like it to look less....shiny, I would combine the cornstarch with sweet rice flour or some other starch to tone it down. All of the seasonings are approximate and you should add more or less depending on your own taste. I personally could have done with a little more sage on my chicken, but that's just me. I also think this would have turned out just as wonderfully if the chicken had been cooked entirely in the frying pan and been allowed to brown a little more. So experiment with it, and enjoy!

Sage and Parsley Chicken with Garlic Smashed Potatoes and Gravy

For the chicken:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 - 1 tsp. lemon juice

For the gravy:

8 oz. gluten-free chicken broth (I used Pacific Chicken Broth)
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 - 1/2 cup hot water
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. fresh sage
1 tsp. fresh garlic

For the potatoes:

22-oz. package of Red Creamer Potatoes (625 g), chopped into halves or quarters with the skins still on (or off, if you don't like them)
1/4 - 1/2 cup soy milk (or other thick non-dairy milk)
3 tbsp. Earth Balance Buttery Spread
2 -3 tbsp. minced garlic (depending on your own taste)
1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Salt, white and black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 F. Chop potatoes and place them in a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil while you're working on the chicken and gravy.

Combine the fresh sage, parsley, olive oil, and lemon juice in a bowl, and then coat each piece of chicken in the mixture and place in a skillet. Saute the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side so that it gets a little brown, then place them in a small baking dish and place in the oven at 450 F for 20 - 25 minutes. I covered mine with foil, but feel free to bake uncovered or to remove the foil after 10 minutes to allow the chicken to brown a little.

In the same pan in which the chicken was sauteed, place the remaining 1 tbsp. sage and 1 tsp. minced garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add the 1/3 cup white wine, bring to a simmer, and heat for another 1 - 2 minutes. In a small jar, combine the 2 tbsp. cornstarch with at least half of the chicken broth and shake it up to mix the cornstarch into the liquid. Add this to the pan, and then add the other half of the chicken broth, stirring constantly to avoid clumping. As the mixture thickens, add the hot water little by little until you've reached your desired consistency and taste.

Once the potatoes are tender, drain the water and mash them up with a masher or fork. In a small pan, heat the Earth Balance Buttery Spread with 2-3 tbsp. minced garlic (depending on how strong of a garlic flavor you'd like) and the fresh sage and parsley. Saute for about 2 - 3 minutes, and then add all of it to the mashed potatoes and stir in. Add the soy milk a little at a time, stirring it in thoroughly, until you've reached the desired whipped consistency. Add salt, white pepper, and black pepper to taste. Remove the chicken from the oven once it is thoroughly baked and serve with the smashed potatoes and gravy to top it all.

No comments: