Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Enhancing chicken and mashed taters...

Chicken and potatoes... a good, comforting duo that is welcome any time of the year. We took that idea for dinner tonight and added some interesting twists to amp up the flavor of each dish.

I'm not sure I would have thought about adding green soybeans to potatoes, but this Edamame Mashed Potatoes recipe I made as the side this evening changed my mind! We quite often enjoy these earthy beans just on their own, cooked for just a few minutes and seasoned generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper. You'll want to let these bubble away a little longer than you normally might, as you want them to be fairly soft. To help break them down, they are placed in a food processor to quickly chop them up - just pulse them few times and set them aside.

While we were working with the edamame, we began cooking the chunky pieces of starchy russet potatoes - to add a little more oomph to them, we cooked them in chicken broth and just enough extra water to cover. Before you drain the potatoes, be sure to save about 1/2 cup of the hot liquid - that liquid is then poured into the food processor to warm the soybeans back up and give them some extra moisture to assist in pureeing them. The edamame won't be ultra smooth (though I admit I didn't let them go for very long, so they may continue to smooth out if you leave the processor on long enough), but it was fine enough for us. The potatoes and edamame are then mashed together with warmed milk and olive oil to add to some richness. We are peel people, so I don't usually remove them when we mash potatoes, but feel free to take that extra step if you desire. While I'm not crazy about the pea-green color, the flavor they added to plain 'ol mashed taters more than made up for it!

I had a prosciutto habit a few years ago where I was almost having a slice or two daily(!), however that didn't last too long as it is not exactly the cheapest snack in the world. So, I jump at the chance for a reason to buy some (and maybe a little extra for me) to use in a recipe. To enhance the chicken portion of our meal tonight, we bump up the flavor of chicken breasts by making this Chicken Saltimbocca dish.

Because you are rolling the chicken up, you'll need to flatten the pieces to a thin layer before you can move on with this recipe. For less clean up, put the chicken between a couple pieces of parchment, wax paper or even in a zip-loc type bag. If using the latter, add a few drops of water when you put the chicken breast in as it will add some lubrication to help keep the thin pieces from tearing.

The flattened chicken is topped with salty pieces of prosciutto, thawed spinach (lightly seasoned and tossed with a touch of oil) and finished with a shower in sharp Parmesan cheese. They are then rolled up, jellyroll style, to hide those savory ingredients. I was able to leave a clean little border on the chicken, so the chicken stuck to itself and created a decent seal - if this isn't the case, you should secure the seam with a toothpick so they stay closed. The stuffed chicken is then seared until each side takes on a lovely golden hue - they won't be done at this point, so to help cook them through and keep them very moist, a bit of chicken broth and fresh lemon juice is poured in. After they are finished, the cooked pieces of tender chicken are taken out and that extremely flavorful liquid left behind is concentrated down to form a light sauce that will be served over the chicken. Relatively light, this chicken dish may have a bit of labor to it, but it was really pretty easy to assemble and worth the mess (you could even do most of the work ahead of time and keep the pieces chilled in the refrigerator)!


  1. Those two go well together. I like the colors also.

  2. Tasty looking dinner. I love the green in the mashed potatoes! I'm kind of strange like that - always loving weird colored foods :)

  3. Yum! I love edamame! I have put kale in mashed potatoes and cabbage in mashed potatoes, but never thought of edamame!


  4. This sounds wonderful - I'm linking to it in my very first ever link love post at my blog.

  5. Helene - Thanks!

    Sharon - The color didn't turn me off, but it was a little odd for mashed potatoes!

    Courtney - I'll have to try using kale some time!

    Mama bear - Thank you!