Oct 17, 2013

One Dish Wonder: Chicken, Potatoes, Green Beans

There are two ways to make this dish, both explained below.  

Life with three small children seems to zip past at break-neck speed.  I meant to pull a chicken out of my freezer last night.  Laying in bed, I vowed to do it first thing in the morning.  It was 11:00am when I finally remembered and took action.

Fearful the slow cooker would not cook the 4.5 pound frozen-solid chicken in time for dinner, I opted for using my 5.5 quart dutch oven or stock pot. [Max temps in a slow cooker are 200-250*.]  Turning my oven to 290* I plopped the frozen bird in the covered pot and set to peeling potatoes.  For a woman in the kitchen without children, peeling 5 potatoes takes mere minutes.  For this woman with 3 needy children under foot, it took the better part of an hour.

So, frozen chicken in the pot [check], 5 peeled and cubed potatoes [check], one pound frozen green beans [check].  These aren't magical numbers per se, it's what I had on hand and what would fit in my pot - other root veggies would be delish as well. 

For the seasonings you can use whatever fits your fancy.  Lately, I've been loving Good Season's Italian Dressing.  You can buy a packet in the spice aisle or whip up your own concoction (minus the sugar.)  In all, my one dish wonder of chicken, potato and green beans were in the oven about 4 hours at 290*.  You know it's all done when the meat pulls easily away from the bones and the potatoes are tender.  If you aren't in a rush - or if you remember to start your one dish wonder earlier in the day - this would be a perfect slow cooker meal.  A frozen bird and veggies would have cooked just fine in 8 hours on high.

If a whole bird still makes you squeamish below are pictures of how to make it with boneless breasts in a 9x13 pan in a bit over an hour.
You can also use cutlets but I had breasts in my freezer.  I don't think arrangement of the food matters much, I tried to make it appear a bit balanced.  Once the breasts and potatoes were in the pan, I sprinkled mightily with my homemade Good Season's Italian Dressing without sugar.  Don't be stingy. It's what really gives the yum to this dish.  Last of all, I sprinkled about a pound of my mom's frozen green beans on top and decorated with a stick of butter and more seasoning.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 for at least an hour.   If you are using boneless skinless breast, you will need the extra fat, moisture and seasons from the butter.
My family of 4 eaters (baby is only eating yogurt these days) gobbled up this 9x13 pan and why I decided to use a whole bird today.

'Cuz if I'm gonna be making a mess in the kitchen I want enough for left overs, amen?


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