Grandparents, we’re trying something new today. Instead of three or four individually presented recipes, we’re giving you four recipes in one – a full, healthy, and delicious chicken dinner complete with sides and a beverage – courtesy of British super-chef Jamie Oliver.
We’re big fans of Oliver here at Grandparents.com, thanks to his last cookbook, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (Hyperion). In it, he emphasized serving your grandchildren fresh and tasty dishes cooked quickly. His new recipe roundup, Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes (Hyperion), takes that concept one step further, with master recipes for entire meals prepped in under an hour.
Now, Oliver is sharing one of his best dinners with Grandparents.com readers: Tray-Baked Chicken with Potatoes, Spinach, and a Strawberry Slushie. Armed with basic cookware and a few fresh ingredients, you can throw a rounded, wholesome meal together for your family in just minutes. Eat up and enjoy!
For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes or baby white potatoes
A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
A couple of fresh bay leaves
6 cloves garlic
For the spinach:
A bunch of scallions
3 cloves garlic
A few fresh thyme tips
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
A large pat of butter
1 pound prewashed baby spinach
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 ounce Parmesan cheese
For the chicken:
A pat of butter
4 (6-ounce) skinless chicken breasts
2 ounces cherry tomatoes
4 slices smoked bacon
A couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary
For the seasonings:
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt & black pepper
For the drink:
1 pound strawberries, fresh or frozen
A few sprigs of fresh mint
1/2 lemon ice cubes
Sugar, to taste
TO START: Get all your ingredients and equipment ready. Fill and boil the kettle. Put a medium saucepan on a medium heat, a large frying pan on a low heat, and a large shallow pan on a medium heat. Turn the broiler to full blast.
POTATOES: Wash the potatoes, then halve lengthways (or leave whole if using baby white potatoes), and add to the saucepan with a pinch of salt. Cover with boiled water, put the lid on, and boil hard for around 12 to 14 minutes, or until cooked through.
SPINACH: Trim and thinly slice the scallions. Add to the large shallow pan with a splash of olive oil. Crush in 3 cloves of unpeeled garlic and add a slug of boiled water. Pick in the leaves from a few sprigs of thyme, finely grate in 1/4 of a nutmeg, and add the pat of butter. Leave to tick away for around 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
CHICKEN: Turn the heat under the empty frying pan to high. Get out a large sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle over a good pinch of dried oregano, salt & pepper, and paprika, then drizzle over some olive oil and add a lug to the hot frying pan now too, along with the pat of butter. Lay the chicken breasts on top of the parchment paper and roll them in the flavors. Add to the hot pan and fry for 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden on both sides. While this is happening, clear away the parchment paper and wash your hands.
SPINACH: Pile the spinach into the pan with the scallions and leave to wilt. You may need to do this in batches, but it will wilt quickly. Keep stirring so nothing sticks.
CHICKEN: Get out a nice roasting pan, then quarter the lemon and chuck it in the pan along with the tomatoes. Tip in the chicken breasts and any juices from the pan. Use tongs to arrange everything nicely, then lay the bacon on top of the breasts. Put the frying pan back on a medium heat, add the sprigs of rosemary to the pan, and move them around so that they get coated in the juices. Pop them into the pan, then put the pan under the broiler for at least 14 minutes.
POTATOES: Check the potatoes are cooked, then drain and let them steam dry for a minute or two. Add a couple of lugs of olive oil, leaves from a few sprigs of rosemary, and the bay leaves to the empty frying pan. Put the potatoes on top of the herbs in a flat layer, drizzle over some olive oil, and sprinkle over some salt. Crush in 6 unpeeled cloves of garlic, then turn the heat up to high. Get a flat lid from a smaller pan and really press down so you burst and squash the potatoes. Leave to color, then toss after about 3 minutes and squash down again.
SPINACH: Stir to help it along. Pour in the cream. Turn down the heat to low. Finely grate in the Parmesan and stir well.
POTATOES: Keep checking, squashing, and turning so the potatoes get golden all over.
DRINK: Hull the strawberries and add them to the blender with a handful of ice cubes, a few mint leaves, and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Add enough water to cover and whiz. Meanwhile, half fill a large pitcher with ice. Taste the mixture in the blender and sweeten if necessary. Pour into the pitcher and stir with a wooden spoon. Take to the table.
POTATOES: Check and squash down again.
TO SERVE: Take the pan of chicken out from under the broiler. Check the breasts are cooked through, then take straight to the table with the pan of spinach. Tip the potatoes onto a platter, take to the table, and tuck in!
Excerpted from Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes © 2011 by Jamie Oliver. Reprinted with permission of Hyperion Books. Photography by David Loftus.
For more fast meals from Jamie Oliver and others, go to the Grandparents.com Bookstore, where our experts have compiled a master list of relevant cookbooks you're destined to use dang near every day.
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