In an attempt to focus entirely on my studying for this damned exam I’m supposed to be working for, Hungry Hubby went away to give me a weekend of silence. The open plan living in the Apple Chapel is beautiful and I love it, but it’s not revision friendly, even though Hubs watches his football with headphones on, it seems a smidge unfair to expect him to be mute for the next couple of months! In the end, I did work but not quite as much as I thought I would as the kitchen called it’s siren song and I came up with a few new recipes on the Saturday afternoon. My bad. When The Hungry One isn’t home, I always imagine that would be the time to roll out the vindaloo as Hubs can’t take all that chilli but in reality, I end up cooking things I know he’d like in order to feel closer to him. I miss that fuzzball so much when he’s not screaming at the sports channel from his lazy boy recliner 😉
And this Chicken & Dauphinoise Potatoes for One is something Hungry Hubby would really love, being a big fan of all things chicken or carbs related. Dauphinoise potatoes are a real treat I tend to save for when we have company and want to serve potatoes with minimum effort. They are rich and creamy but I cut through that with one of Hungry Hubby’s favourite condiments – finely diced cornichon. Essential with a salt beef sandwich, they are brilliant little pickled flavour bombs and we both love them. The chicken is pounded out super thin to make it cook quickly and evenly in the oven and the cherry tomatoes help bring a hint of acidity to the meat, which is cooked with a knob of garlic butter. I’d cut the courgettes 1 mm thick if you don’t want them to singe and crisp up but I *love* that smokey crispness, so I do a few slices wafer thin and the rest slightly chunkier. A little rosemary is all you need to bring that fantastically herbal note to the dish and all in all, this is one delightful treat for when you’re dining alone.
- 1 medium baking potato unpeeled and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp double cream
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 2 cornichon finely diced
- 1/2 courgette finely sliced
- 5-6 cherry tomatoes halved
- A small handful of green beans topped and tailed
- 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
- 1 chicken breast
- 2 tsp garlic butter*
- Sea salt and black pepper to season
Start by preheating the oven to 200˚C and set the shelf so the meal will cook in the top third of the oven.
Whisk all the ingredients apart from the potatoes together for the dauphinoise.
Spray a ramekin (of about 250ml capacity) with oil or butter it and layer up half the potato. Pour over half the creamy mixture then top with the remaining potatoes and then carefully pour on the rest of the cream. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, spray a small oven tray with oil very lightly and arrange the green beans, courgettes and cherry tomatoes (the latter cut surface up) then sprinkle on most of the rosemary (save a little for the chicken). When the timer is up after the first 15 minutes, pop the veg in next to the potatoes (the potatoes need 45 minutes in total to cook through).
Next, place a chicken breast on a chopping board and cover with clingfilm then bash until it is an even thickness (just less than a centimetre).
When the timer goes, take the veg out and place the chicken on top. Sprinkle with the reserved rosemary and place the garlic butter on top, season well then return to the oven for a final 15 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes have a crisp top but are cooked through (they should yield to the tip of a small sharp knife inserted into the centre).
Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a plate then scoop the dauphinoise out with a spoon and serve.
* = you can buy garlic butter or you can make your own. It's worth making a big batch so you can freeze it, slicing off a bit as you need it. I mash 125g soft butter with 2 cloves of garlic, a fat pinch of salt and 2 tbsp chopped parsley together. Then form it into a sausage shape with some clingfilm and chill until solid, then freeze what you don't need.
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