Raspberry Balsamic Chicken Tenders with Parmesan Butter New Potatoes

Raspberry Balsamic Chicken Tenders with Parmesan Butter New Potatoes

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I had to take our 13 year old black lab mix, Bo, to the vet this afternoon.  His back legs have been bothering him and he can’t put any weight on his hind feet.

When I opened the door to Bill’s old Camry, he was eager to get in, but he slipped and probably hurt his leg further.  I felt horrible.

He wasn’t exactly happy to be at the vet’s, but at least he got his meds and is plenty happy right now.

Unfortunately, getting him OUT of the car just about killed my back.  I’m in no mood for a punishing dinner, so this is my solution.

This chicken is one of Bill’s favorites, and mine, too.  Instead of raspberry jam, you can use apricot or peach jam.  I wouldn’t go with strawberry, but that’s up to you.  I’m not the food police.

Between the chicken and the potatoes, your time in the kitchen will be very reasonable.  You’re welcome.

First, I’m going to let you in on a very yummy potato “recipe” that your clan will love.  I would put these in the 400° degree oven about 30 to 45 minutes before you plan to eat, depending on their size.  Fork test for tenderness after 30 minutes and go from there.

Scrub some either yellow or red potatoes (babies are best, for the best crust-to-potato ratio, but larger ones will do, in a pinch.  They’ll take a bit longer, though, and won’t have as much butter/parmesan crust as the small ones).

Parmesan Butter New Potatoes

I’m pretty sure this would work with Russets, if you don’t have any yellow or red potatoes on hand.  If you use yellow or red potatoes, just scrub and dry off.  No need to peel their thin skins.

New potatoes, cut in half

Enough butter to coat your baking pan

Freshly grated Parmesan

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Heat your oven to 400°.  Scrub and dry off the potatoes, and then slice in half, length-wise.  In baking pan, put enough butter that it will cover the bottom, when melted.  Place baking pan in the oven until butter has melted and bring it back out.

(I prefer to use a large cast iron skillet and heat it on the stovetop, and then melt my butter, before putting in the oven, but that’s not necessary).

Sprinkle cut sides with a bit of salt and pepper.  When butter is melted, grate the parmesan over the bottom of the pan.  Don’t put in a big lump – you’ll never get it to mix.  Just take your time and grate over entire surface of your baking pan.  This is the best grater, ever!  I have 3 sizes of these and I use them constantly.  The super fine one works for whole nutmeg, too (the only way to go when indulging in an eggnog).  If you don’t have a good grater for your chunk of parmesan, please check this out on Amazon.   http://amzn.to/2j9ZVdf .  By the way, we get our Parmesan (Reggiano) at Costco.  It’s not cheap, but it lasts a long, long, time.  The flavor beats the pre-shredded stuff you get at the deli, hands down.

Now, take your dried-off potatoes and place, cut side down, into the melted butter/parmesan in the baking pan or cast iron skillet.

Cook at 400° for 30 to 45 minutes.  Check after 30 minutes for fork tenderness (by that, they mean a regular fork you eat with, not a carving fork).  Also check the bottom of the potatoes, to see that they aren’t overcooking.  If so, just turn them over and continue to cook until they are fork tender.

Raspberry Balsamic Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenders, tendons removed and dried off

Extra virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

Kosher Salt

Freshly ground black pepper (Joan, get a GRINDER!)

1/3 cup raspberry or apricot jam

2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

About 10 minutes before you’re ready to eat, heat a large skillet on medium high.  Cover the bottom of the skillet sparingly with olive oil and heat until hot.  If you put too much oil in there, you won’t get the nice, crispy brown bits that come from browning your chicken!

While all of this is happening, sprinkle your tenders with some salt, pepper and thyme.

Saute´ the tenders until a nice, golden color, then flip.  These won’t take long! When done, remove to a pie plate (they’ll exude some juices) and cover with foil.  I would not put them into the oven with the potatoes – 400° would overcook them, and then you’d be eating leather shoelaces in a nice reduction.

However, if you are lucky enough to have a second oven (unlike poor little me), you could set that on 200° and stick the pie plate of tenders in there.  They’ll be safe there until it’s time to put back into the skillet.

Turn down the heat on your skillet to medium.

To your hot skillet, add the 2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar.  If you have young kids who have never had Balsamic Vinegar, you might want to dumb this down to 1 Tablespoon, just to get them used to it.  I think Balsamic Vinegar is awesome, but I’m no kid.  Obviously.

Stand back, because when the Balsamic Vinegar hits the hot pan, your nose will go “whoa!”

Whisk like crazy, then add your jam.  Only cook for a minute, at most.  Just to get the lumps out.

Take a spoon and test for salt and pepper.

Take your chicken and add back into the pan, so it’s evenly coated.

Remove potatoes from the oven and marvel at their cheesy, buttery undersides.  If you microwave some frozen peas or corn, dinner will be on the table in minutes and then you can get your hubby to do the dishes.

That is, if you allow yours in the kitchen, which I do not.

Enjoy!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Vicky

Cast iron pans

p.s. I have a large set of very, very expensive aluminum-clad steel pots and pans, which I use nearly every day.  (These are the ones the chefs on the cooking shows use).

Cast iron potsStill, I find myself reaching for my cast iron skillets nearly every night, because they can’t be beat for their ability to brown chicken, meats and things like these potatoes.  I collected mine from various thrift shops and junk stores, but you can buy them for very little money, spanking new.  The plus for these modern cast iron skillets is that they now come pre-seasoned!  Here’s a link to Amazon for the Lodge 10 inch cast iron skillet that you can buy:  http://amzn.to/2zgnppV

Or you can buy the 12 inch skillet with a silicone handle cover.  http://amzn.to/2j9lMkY

You can put these on your list for Santa!  You won’t be sorry you did.

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