Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lazy Chicken

Yesterday, I had an appointment in the city after work so KK decided to turn it into date night.  He'd snagged a Groupon for S'MAC.  How is it possible that I've never been to S'MAC or any of the mac & cheese joints in the city? I absolutely love mac & cheese, so it was a no brainer when KK suggested S'MAC.  The Groupon was $19 for 2 Major Munch (medium) servings and beer or wine for each of us.  KK, the coupon cutter in our marriage, calculated our savings to be $14.50.  KK had previously tried the Alpine (Gruyere cheese and bacon), so he opted to try something new - The Cajun, made of cheddar and pepper jack cheese, andouille sausage, veggies, garlic, and Cajun seasoning.  I ordered La Mancha - Manchego cheese, fennel, and onions.  Both were delicious and, because the Major Munch was so big, we have leftovers to enjoy for lunch today! The best part about both varieties was the crunchy breadcrumb topping! Without a Groupon, you can still get a few bucks off by checking in on Four Square, so I suggest you check out S'MAC at their Murray Hill or East Village locations... preferably soon!

Despite my love of one-pot meals, I was a little skeptical of this recipe at first because it didn’t have suggested cook times.  Nevertheless, KK and I decided to wing it, and it turned out to be a fantastic meal (we both had a second helping, and KK had a third!) on Tuesday night.  As the potatoes cook, you can hear them sizzling.  I waited about 5 minutes before checking on them, careful not to disturb the layers within the pot.   Some of the potatoes had browned, so I decided it was time to add the zucchini, chicken and tomatoes.  The potatoes ended up less crispy than I expected they would be, but it was nice to have some starch mixed in with all the veggies and chicken.  The key to this dish is having the potatoes and vegetables cut evenly and thin so they cook consistently throughout the pot.  Enter the mandoline.  I have an Oxo hand-held mandoline, with three thickness options; I opted to use the thickest setting to slice the ingredients this time.  If you don’t have a mandoline, I strongly suggest you buy one, but in the meantime – take care to slice the ingredients evenly.  I had difficulty capturing a picture of this meal, so you’ll have to use your imagination to envision the layered looked of this dish.  It should be no surprise to hear that both KK and I topped our servings with crushed red pepper!

Lazy Chicken
Adapted from Tablespoon
Time: 30  minutes
Serves 3-4

Cooking spray
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into one-inch cubes
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 red potatoes
1 small onion
1 small zucchini
2 tsp steak seasoning, divided
½ cup chicken broth
14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 ½ tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ cup shredded mozzarella

1. Spray Dutch oven with cooking spray and heat over medium high.  Season chicken with salt and pepper, and brown for 4 minutes.  Chicken will not be cooked through; remove from pan and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, thinly slice potatoes, onion, and zucchini using a mandoline.  Do not mix vegetables.

3. Add olive oil to the Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Evenly layer sliced potatoes on the bottom of the pan, then top with an even layer of onions.  Sprinkle top with 1 teaspoon steak seasoning.  Cook until potatoes sear and begin to brown, about 5 minutes.  If possible, avoid stirring.

4. Pour chicken broth into pan, and layer zucchini on top.  Top with remaining 1 teaspoon steak seasoning.  Spread chicken on top of zucchini, then spread the diced tomatoes.  Sprinkle top with basil and oregano; cover and cook until chicken and vegetables are fully cooked, 5-10 minutes.

5. Remove cover and sprinkle mozzarella on top.  Re-cover and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese melts.  Serve immediately.

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