Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Italian Chicken & Potatoes

I came across this recipe years ago on one of the end caps at my local Albertsons. I am a sucker for anything Italian so having that word in the title intrigued me. As far as Italian recipes go, there are better tasting ones but this will do in a pinch and is so easy that it trumps the better tasting ones on a day when you are just too busy to put in the time for something better. This recipe is designed to be cooked on an outdoor grill as well so is great for those summer days when it's hot and you don't want to fire up your oven and cook dinner along with everyone with the misfortune of being in close proximity to your kitchen. And for those of you poor unfortunate souls like me who don't own a barbecue grill and must do all your cooking indoors, the recipe can be done in a traditional oven as well. I'm going to type the recipe just like its written and add my own personal insights down below.

1 large size Reynolds Foil Bag
4 medium potatoes, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning, divided
1/2 tsp garlic salt
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 to 2 lbs)
1/2 cup Italian dressing
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper

Preheat grill to medium high. Open foil bag. Spray inside of foil bag with nonstick cooking spray. Combine potatoes, 1 tsp Italian seasoning and garlic salt. Arrange potatoes on one side of foil bag in an even layer. Sprinkle chicken with remaining Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Arrange chicken in an even layer on other side of foil bag. Combine Italian salad dressing, parmesan cheese and flour; spoon over chicken. To seal, double fold open end of foil bag. To cook, slide foil bag onto grill. Grill 20 to 25 minutes in covered grill. Use oven mitts and cut open foil bag with a sharp knife. Carefully fold back top of foil bag, allowing steam to escape. Spoon sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

All that being said, here is how I made this recipe. I was certain that I had some foil bags in my cupboard and had everything out to begin making this recipe when I discovered that what I had thought were foil bags were instead crock pot liners. Oops. So I improvised. I went ahead and peeled and chopped my potatoes. Peeling wouldn't be necessary but my children have an aversion to anything that appears to be a peel left on their potatoes, so I peeled mine so I wouldn't have to hear the complaints. I always like to do my potatoes when I have a free minute during the day and then put them in a container large enough to hold them plus cover them with water. So long as they are covered, they won't turn brown or red on you and will patiently wait for you all day, if necessary, until such time as you have the time to use them.

When I was ready to assemble everything in preparation for dinner, I washed my chicken (I prefer to use chicken tenders here since they are more reasonably sized portions for my small eaters), peeled off the yucky parts and tossed these in a dish with the italian seasoning and salt and pepper, trying to coat everything as evenly as possible. I then laid them out in a 9x13 baking dish.

Mix together the dressing, cheese, and flour and then spoon it over the top of each chicken piece.
I then went ahead and drained the water from the potatoes and then tossed in the italian seasoning and garlic salt and tossed them together so everything got coated pretty evenly.

I forgot to take a picture but at this point, I dumped the potatoes across the top of the chicken.  In hindsight, it probably makes more sense to have put the potatoes on the bottom and the chicken on top.  Oh well, no harm done.  I covered my pan with foil before baking. The night I made this turned out to be a night of multiple miscommunications when one or more persons were missing for various spans of time during the time I was hoping to have dinner ready to eat. So this is how I improvised my cooking schedule first to speed it up and then to slow it back down when I realized that another wrinkle in my immaculate time management had arisen. I baked mine for 40 min. at 425F, then turned the oven down to 350F and cooked for another 20 min. then turned it down yet again, this time to 300F for another 15 minutes. Each time I messed with the temperature, I would also spoon it around so I suppose eventually the chicken did end up on top with the potatoes underneath.  Finally, by then, everyone was home and we hastily ate our meal before the next batch of disappearances began. I don't think it needed this much time to bake but it didn't ruin it. It was actually nice and tender despite it's super long convoluted journey through my ovens various temperature scales. Certainly, cooking it on the grill, as advertised, would have been way easier. There you have it folks... improvisation at it's finest!  And of course, I forgot to take a picture of the final product so you'll just have to take my word for it that they turned out yummy and delicious (and looked nice too).


Charissa said...

Yum! You haven't fixed this for me yet. Maybe I need to come and visit.

Heidi said...

I love easy and delicious!!

Maria said...

This sounds delicious! I love meals like this, and am always looking for new recipes to add to my regular meals I cook! Thanks for sharing this!

Lindsay Gurney said...

This was absolutely divine. The leftovers were even better!

I featured this on my Blog over at:

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