Find Your Happy Plate

my happy place is a plate of chicken and potatoes

Do you ever come home from work and just start cooking? The moment you walk into your kitchen you instantly forget about the deadlines, the craziness, all the what-have-yous from the day. That’s what I like do. I can literally get lost in the rhythm of cooking. As I’m chopping vegetables or pan-frying chicken or whisking up a sauce … my mind just goes to a happier place. This is one of those meals that takes me there. It’s hearty and comforting, like you should’ve spent all Sunday making it. But thanks to some “cheats” that speed up the cooking, it’s simple enough for a weeknight. Like using chicken breasts instead of a full chicken, and allowing your microwave to help soften the potatoes. And, the easy-to-make pan sauce fancies it up a bit.

Pan-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes with Lemon, Caper & Tarragon Sauce
– 4 bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts (or, 2 giant ones)
– 1 ½ lbs of small red potatoes, quartered
– ¼ cup of minced onion
– 1 teaspoon of flour
– ¾ cup of low-sodium chicken stock
– 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
– 1 tablespoon of capers, rinsed
– 2 teaspoons of fresh tarragon, minced
– 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
– Salt and pepper
– Garlic salt
– Olive oil

Heat your oven to 450º.

Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When nearly smoking, add the chicken breasts, skin-side down, and cook until deep golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the skillet juices to a smaller pan and set aside.

Meanwhile, toss the potatoes with a tablespoon of oil, ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the potatoes begin to soften, about 7 minutes. Shake the bowl (don’t remove the plastic wrap) halfway through to toss the potatoes.

Transfer the chicken breasts to a baking dish, skin-side up, and bake until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 160º to 165º, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let the chicken rest 5 minutes.

While the chicken bakes, add another tablespoon of oil to the large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drain the potatoes and add them to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender, about 12 minutes.

For the sauce, heat the small skillet with the reserved chicken juices over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, loosening any browned bits from the bottom. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce reduces and thickens, about 3 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the butter, capers, tarragon and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the chicken breasts and the potatoes. Then eat.

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10 Comments on “Find Your Happy Plate”

  1. Caroline says:

    I definitely know that ‘happy place.’ I go there as well when baking/cooking. Therapeudic I guess you could say! This chicken sounds fabulous…love the sauce.

  2. billpeeler says:

    I can relate completely. Spending hours in the kitchen is very much a great escape for me. And that sauce looks awesome – I love that there’s no cream and it still looks rich and tasty. I’m also always looking for different recipes using capers. This looks great —-

    • egg me on says:

      Funny you should mention the capers — a half empty jar of them in my fridge inspired me to make that sauce. I think the tablespoon of butter had something to do with the creamy-looking sauce. 😉

  3. mskeefe says:

    I want to go to your happy place, T.

  4. I love tarragon. This looks wonderful. Such great ingredients.

  5. Umm.. Yum!! This looks delicious!

  6. Joanne Ozug says:

    Look how BROWN that chicken is!!!! That’s a happy plate for sure!


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