roasted chicken with buttermilk smashed potatoes & dijon gravy

If roasting chicken is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

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I mean, how can anyone say no to a piece of perfectly roasted chicken, with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy?

Is anyone raising their hand??…I didn’t think so. 

One snowy day back in January, the hubs and I were lucky enough to be granted a snow day. Well, more like half a snow day….when the roads get bad around here, people tend to head home. Untreated roads and not living in the “north” can make for an…interesting…commute home. But I digress – wow, I tend to ramble sometimes!

We had both been craving a hearty roast for dinner, but a somewhat bare refrigerator and sore lack of a whole chicken left something to be desired. I began rummaging around, thinking to myself “How can I make this work?”. I knew what I wanted to achieve – a healthy, balanced dinner but still so comforting, no one would miss the lack of butter, cream, and the like. Sometimes, a little health kick is what you need, no?

Eyeing up the pantry and fridge, the light bulb started to form. I had been successful in the past with making gravy and other sauces with only a minimal amount of butter and using mostly stock, so I knew that would work. To enrichen the flavor, I thought to myself, how about some mustard? A smooth, tangy dijon would heighten the profile of a pretty basic gravy, and then to freshen it up I would add in some herbs. “Rosemary!” I thought to myself….thus, component #1 was born.

The chicken I knew I wanted to keep simple, to really let the gravy and potatoes shine. I always find myself loving chicken the most when it’s roasted with just the basics. Fresh cracked pepper, kosher salt, and good extra virgin olive oil always do it just right for me. That was a no brainer.

The last component – the potatoes – I knew I wanted to keep it slightly on the healthier side. While I have a soft spot for mashed potatoes whipped with copious amounts of butter, cream and tangy Parmesan, I found myself gravitating towards the buttermilk I had leftover in my fridge. Knowing that this would be a great mix in with the potatoes, and along with lots of fresh garlic, I had formulated the rest of my plan.

…and thus, my roast chicken dinner was born. I’ve made this multiple times since that snowy day in January, and let me tell you, this will continue to be on rotation in our household. It’s quite easy, healthful, and full of flavor. It’s also a perk that the leftovers make a killer sandwich the next day.

Enjoy!

~~~

Roasted Chicken with Buttermilk Smashed Potatoes & Dijon Gravy {original recipe}

{serves 2, with leftovers}

For the chicken:

1-1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt and pepper, to taste

extra virgin olive oil

For the buttermilk smashed potatoes:

4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed clean and dried well {I like to leave the skins on in my mashed potatoes, as this is where the majority of the nutrients are found…not to mention, they’re full of flavor!}

1 to 1-1/2 C. low fat buttermilk

4 cloves garlic, finely grated or minced

salt and pepper, to taste

For the dijon gravy:

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 medium onion, diced

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2-3 C. organic, low-sodium chicken stock

1/2 tsp. rosemary

2-3 tsp. dijon

extra virgin olive oil

so you aren’t waiting on the potatoes to boil, let’s first get a large pot of water going on the stove. We want a good, rolling boil!

Cook the chicken: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and drizzle with a hefty dose of olive oil. Add on the chicken and, with clean hands, sprinkle with  a generous amount of salt and pepper. Be sure to rub both sides, coating well! Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until juices run clear. Set aside, and cover tightly with foil to keep warm.

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While the chicken is cooking, prepare the potatoes to add into the boiling water.

Prepare the potatoes: Dice the potatoes into 1/2″ to 1″ cubes, making sure to ensure consistent cuts {tip: the smaller a dice you cut your potatoes into, the quicker they will cook!}. Add into the pot of boiling water, and cook until fork tender; this should take anywhere from 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. Once ready, drain of all cooking liquid and return to the stovetop, turning the heat down to low or even off {you can always adjust the heat as needed to keep them warm}. Add in the minced garlic, lots of fresh cracked salt and pepper to your liking, and lastly the buttermilk. I find it helpful to start on the lower amount of liquid, adding in as necessary so they don’t become gummy. Mash with a large wooden spoon or potato masher, making sure to leave lots of good bumps and lumps! Cover and keep warm until the gravy is prepared.

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Prepare the gravy: In a medium saute pan, drizzle in a few good turns of olive oil. Add in the onion, and saute for 5-10 minutes or until translucent. Add in the garlic, salt and fresh cracked pepper, rosemary, and cook together until the flavors all merry, 3-5 minutes. Add in the butter and, once melted, sprinkle in the flour, whisking constantly to negate any lumps {you want your gravy to be nice and smooth}. Cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing the raw flavor of the flour to cook out. Slowly stream in the chicken stock, whisking briskly. Bring the gravy to a boil, and once thickened {it should coat the back of a spoon and leave a trail}, stir in the dijon mustard.

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I like to serve this dish in a large, rimmed pasta bowl….a heaping mound of hot smashed potatoes, with a perfectly cooked chicken breast nestled in, and all swimming in a pool of flavorful gravy.

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It’s truly like having your food give you a hug. Life doesn’t get much better, no?

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10 thoughts on “roasted chicken with buttermilk smashed potatoes & dijon gravy

  1. My hands were firmly holding onto my knife and fork waiting for my portion of this gorgeous roast chicken dinner! Looks and sounds amazing! Love roast chicken… :)

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