; Supermarket Serenade: Chicken and Potatoes from The Next Food Network Star

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chicken and Potatoes from The Next Food Network Star

Sadly I am back from vacation and I am seriously resenting not being waited on hand and foot. What I would give right now for a friendly fellow to walk by and offer me a drink in a coconut shell...ah well...I guess my cup of green tea will have to suffice.

I spent the morning at the supermarket restocking and I spent last night catching up on my Tivo. I was excited to see that the contestant I was rooting for on The Next Food Network Star, Melissa, took home the title. Aside from being impressed with the fact that she has 4 children under 4 and she still has the energy to want to be the Next Food Network Star I just really like her-she has a very friendly personality.

For her pilot show on the finale she created a "four step chicken" with some rather tasty looking potatoes that I just had to try. The chicken is really just your basic sauteed chicken with a pan sauce so that wasn't what attracted me to her dishes it was the potatoes. She made some delicious looking mini gratins in a muffin tin that I just had to taste.
I only made two slight changes to the chicken recipe: shallots instead of red onion and rosemary instead of thyme. For the potatoes I followed exactly except I did not peel the potatoes...I'm a skin girl. Melissa served the chicken on a bed of spinach-which I love, but I happened to have some beautiful summer squash from the farmer's market so I made that instead.

I could not believe how simple and how delicious the potatoes were.(The chicken was good too, but I sure did love those potatoes). I know that I will be making these potatoes a lot...there are just so many ways that you could change them up: cheddar and a little Southwest seasoning for a Tex-Mex version, perhaps some blue cheese and walnuts to pair with a nice steak.

Rustic Lemon Onion Chicken
by Melissa D'Arabian

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced in half crossways (butterflied, cut all the way through)
1 teaspoon dried thyme, plus 1 small bunch fresh thyme, leaves chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup white wine, optional
1 cup chicken broth
3 lemons, juiced
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
Spinach "bed", recipe follows
Season chicken with dried thyme and salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the oil. Dredge the chicken in flour, add to the hot oil and saute until cooked through. Set chicken aside to rest on plate tented with foil.
In same saute pan, over low heat, add onions and fresh thyme and cook until aromatic.
In a measuring cup, measure out wine, if using, and broth, and add the lemon juice. Turn the heat up to high, and deglaze the pan with the broth mixture until starting to reduce.
Remove the pan from the heat and finish the sauce by whisking in butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Arrange the chicken on serving plates; Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.
5-Minute Individual Potato Gratins
by Melissa D'Arabian

Vegetable spray
2 large russet potatoes, roughly peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 green onions, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Spray 8 muffin tins with vegetable spray. Layer potato slices, cheese, and onions into each muffin cup. Season with salt and pepper and top each gratin with 1 or 2 tablespoons of heavy cream. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, removing the foil halfway through cooking time. Invert gratins onto plate and serve.

Quick and Easy Sauteed Summer Squash
by me!
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 small yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil and the butter in a 12 inch non-stick skillet over medium high heat until sizzling; add the shallot and cook until tender.
Stir in the squash, zucchini and rosemary and cook for 2 minutes, using a spatula turn squash over and cook for an additional minute or two, making sure to not let the squash get soft.
Season squash with the salt and pepper. Serve immediately.


Barbara Bakes said...

I didn't see the show, but the potatoes sound amazing! Great idea!

Lisa said...

I will have to try this as it looks delicious. I am so glad she won too! I can't wait to watch her new show.

Kat said...

I was glad to hear that she won as well. I didn't catch the last show - but she was always interesting to watch (especially when others were getting frazzled). I bet Jeffrey shows up somewhere too since he was a favorite of the judges on many levels.

These potatoes look great - I may just have to make these for Sunday's dinner. Not sure what else I'm making but these will definitely be part of the meal.


Donna-FFW said...

I was rooting for her too. This indeed looks fantastic and I aim to try those potatoes. Is her recipe up for the jam pastires she made? I cant find it.

Karen Harris said...

Your version looks delicious. I'm so glad that a mom and home cook won.

bibliochef said...

Great looking recipe. I am only an occasional watcher of the show you mention but am glad (always glad) to see a WOMAN win!

Veronica said...

I have a confession everyone: I've made the potatoes 3 more times since Thursday! They're that yummy...try them with a poached egg on top...Divine!!

Debbie said...

I was so glad she won too! She has a real warmth about her. Her recipe looks so good. You did a great job! I definitely want to try it also. Thanks for posting it!

Julie said...

I thought Melissa seemed nice too. Your dishes look great...I'm a potato lover myself and will defintely have to give that a try.

Anonymous said...

That seems so simple! Not to mention... it must be good to keep portions under control for cheese loving husbands!


The Japanese Redneck said...

I was pulling for Melissa too. I saw them advertise her show as Meals for under $10.


Chef E said...

Oh noooo, I did not see the show, but made the same potatoes with gouda...four under four, oh my and I thought two under two were hard!

The food looks good, and when you come this way I will have a coconut drink with a bendy straw waiting for you!

Every time I come over I get a smile and feel great at your banner!

HoneyB said...

Sounds like something I must try. I watched the show too and was happy she won - but I liked Jeffrey too!

It also sounds like you were on a cruise just the week before we went on one? I love how they wait on you hand and foot!