This belly-filling dish is incredibly pleasing to the tastebuds!
Just because you’ve chosen to eat healthy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice flavor. In fact, preparing dishes without heavy sauces, creams, butter or extra fats allows for clean, fresh flavors to shine through. And then there are the seasonings you use to develop your flavor profile. Take this recipe, for example: smoked paprika stars in this easy but delicious preparation of chicken and potatoes.
Building Flavor Layers
Smoked paprika has become a more common spice in the grocery aisles these days. It’s originally a Spanish spice, made from smoking the pimentón pepper slowly over oak wood. This smoking process imparts a distinctive deep character to the spice that is very little like the typical Hungarian paprikas we are so familiar with.
There are actually three types of smoked paprika, each made from a different variety of pimentón. There is dulce (sweet), agridulce (bittersweet), and picante (hot). As you get to know smoked paprika, you may want to experiment with these varieties in your recipes.
In this recipe, the smoked paprika is used to season both the chicken and the potatoes. Adding more aromatics – garlic and onions – to the dish builds on the flavor. Tossing the potatoes in this flavor-rich blend along with a little olive oil makes for mouth-watering aromas, not to mention the taste! I mean, who doesn’t like roasted potatoes?
Using a combination cooking method is yet another way to generate flavor with a minimum of fat. The chicken gets a quick rub of the paprika/garlic blend and then goes for a quick sear in a hot pan. This allows the spices to “bloom” and the meat of the chicken to benefit from a little caramelization. The caramelization process not only provides a pleasing color to the chicken, but it also adds a nutty note to our finished dish. Flavor, flavor, flavor…see what I mean? And, guess what? Only TWO measly tablespoons of oil!
Once the chicken breasts have been seared, you’ll add them to the pre-seasoned potatoes. Add a splash of excellent chicken broth to the mix, then bake the whole thing together for about a half hour or so. You’ll want to check your chicken and potatoes at this point: you want potatoes that are easily pierced with a sharp knife or fork, and the chicken’s juices should run clear. The FDA says that the internal temperature of chicken should be 165 degrees when it’s properly cooked, so it’s not a bad idea to have an instant-read thermometer on-hand for checking.
Add Some Zing
Often, we like to add a little extra something to a dish to give it a final flavor pop before serving. And, that’s what we’ll be doing here. You’ll mix a little orange zest with some minced parsley and sprinkle that on the chicken and potato mixture just before serving.
This is similar to the classic gremolata, which is traditionally made with lemon zest, parsley and garlic. Gremolata is the standard garnish in osso buco (braised veal shank) and serves as a final fresh counterpoint to a rich dish. In this recipe, our orange version does the same thing: offers you a little “ooh!” for your palate and complements the rich, smokiness of the paprika chicken and potatoes.
Need a Little More Volume?
Our scrumptious chicken and potatoes has a lot going for it. It can be made in a short period of time, it produces minimal mess, and it’s even good for you! It’s a wonderful and filling meal all on it’s own. That said, if you’d like an extra side or two, here are some recommendations:
- 3-Ingredient Spicy Roasted Broccoli
- Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Biscuits
- Classic Green Bean Casserole
- Roasted Asparagus and Peppers
This sheet pan meal is a quick-to-make recipe and above all is kid–friendly too. It will help you avoid the stress of figuring out a separate meal for your kids because this yummy recipe will be loved by the whole family!
Smoked Paprika Chicken and Potatoes
- 1 pound baby potatoes whole (if using larger potatoes, cut into 2-inch wedges)
- 1 sweet onion cut into 1" wedges
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divide in half
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika divided
- 2 teaspoons sea salt divided
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic divided
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 2 tablespoons parsley minced
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray sheet pan with cooking spray.
- Toss baby potatoes or potato wedges and onion wedges in a bowl with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, and half of the smoked paprika, salt, and granulated garlic. Place on prepared sheet pan.
- Using remaining smoked paprika, salt, and granulated garlic, mix together in a small bowl, and then rub the chicken breasts with the mixture. Reserve the remaining half of the smoked paprika, salt and granulated garlic for the potatoes.
- Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Place chicken breasts, 2 at a time in the preheated skillet and sear for about 2-3 minutes. Chicken should easily release from the pan when it is properly seared. Flip chicken over and sear the other side. Chicken will NOT be cooked through.
- Place seared chicken on prepared sheet pan on top of the potatoes and onions. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth. Cover loosely with foil.
- Bake covered in oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and test chicken and potatoes for doneness. Potatoes should be easily pierced with a fork and chicken should have an internal temperature of 155 degrees.
- While chicken and potatoes are cooking, prepare the garnish by mixing orange zest with parsley. Set aside.
- Return to oven and allow to finish cooking, about 5-8 minutes. Chicken should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees when done.
- Sprinkle with orange zest and parsley and serve.
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