Friday, March 25, 2011

Comforting Chicken & Potatoes

Dinner: March 24

It’s been a chilly and rainy week in Los Angeles, and life events had me in a bit of a depression stranglehold. I wanted cheap, comfort food, and I found it in some chicken thighs hibernating in my freezer and some on-sale potatoes.

I went with some very simple recipes. The fried chicken was something I pulled off the internet with a quick search of the Food Network’s website. It looked like a simple recipe, and though I only had a fraction of the amount of chicken recommended, I chopped the other ingredients accordingly. And as for my first try at scalloped potatoes, I also sought something easy, which I found here and whittled it down to half those recommended amounts.

As for the chicken?

Basics:  Coated 4 chicken thighs in mix of flour, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, and dried oregano. Coated them with beaten egg, then coated further with dried bread crumbs. Placed in buttered baking dish and drizzled with melted butter. Baked for 45 minutes, flipping thighs halfway through.

After some adjustments to the recipe, it worked out in the end. The recipe called for only 1 egg, but I wished I had used 2 as I was scraping for enough coating for my 4 chicken pieces. I also wished I used more cayenne pepper; even though I doubled the recommended amount, I hardly tasted it. In addition, the cooking time of 30-35 minutes was not enough in any way, as the chicken required another 15 minutes to finish cooking on the inside and become crispy enough on the outside. When all was said and done, though, the chicken was a great comfort food, despite its lack of spicy kick.

And the potatoes?

Basics:  Cut 4 potatoes into thin slices, used 1/3 of them to layer bottom of casserole dish. Sprinkled with half of the ½ chopped onion and 1 tablespoon flour, and added another layer of potatoes. Layered with onion and flour again, also adding salt and pepper. Covered with 1 cup hot milk, sprinkled generously with shredded cheddar cheese. Baked at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

As with the chicken, I had to make my own adjustments. The 4 recommended potatoes produced simply way too many for the dish, so I now have a sliced potato that got booted from the dish and has nowhere to go. The dish was quite full with 3 potatoes. I also felt that the potatoes were not fully cooked at the one-hour mark, so I ended up cooking them for another 20 minutes. The final product was good, very cheesy and moist, and it was the perfect - yet heavy and filling - side dish for the fried chicken.

The dinner served its purpose, as I was full of fatty foods and relegated to the couch for the rest of the evening. Neither of these dishes is by any means “light,” but they satisfied a craving. Also, since this was my first time working with potatoes in this way, I discovered that they’re not as intimidating as I assumed, and I’ll be more likely to work with them again. However, I will try to purchase a mandoline instead of risking my little fingers to slice those suckers thin.



  2. Those potato pancakes sound delish! I might have to try that recipe.