Well folks, it’s Friday night, and as of last week, that means it’s Annalisa’s blog night 🙂
Hello readers. Tonight I made a meal of balsamic chicken legs and cauliflower mashed potatoes. I will make no efforts to be humble about it – it was GLORIOUS. I mean, the angels didn’t weep because it was so very delicious, but I sure did. This is a simple meal that will make a big impression on the recipients (even if you ARE just cooking for yourself). This is bad-ass cookery here my friends.
Balsamic Chicken & Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
This meal has three parts to it, and a mere eight ingredients.
Gather the following;
4 chicken drumsticks (or breast, or thighs, or whatever part of the chicken you want)
4 yellow potatoes (I used Yukon Golds here in the US)
1 medium sized head cauliflower
2 cups / 475 ml balsamic vinegar
½ cup / 4 oz brown sugar
Dollop sour cream
2 tsp butter
Splash of milk
Step one: Balsamic Reduction
Mix balsamic vinegar with brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until glaze is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Glaze should coat the back of a spoon. Let cool and pour into a jar with a lid; store in refrigerator for as long as you need it. I’ve been using an old jam jar. This last batch I made has lasted me over 2 months.
You can also use any other flavored vinegar you like and make a custom reduction. For example, if you use raspberry, it would pair really well with pork. See there I am again, thinking about pig goodness.
Step two: Marinating & cooking the chicken
Take the chicken and put it into a Ziploc bag or sealed Tupperware container. Pour part of the reduction over the chicken. Give it a few shakes to coat the chicken. Put in fridge for a couple of hours, taking out a few times an hour and shaking it. Think of this as your upper arm toning for the day. After the chicken is chilled and it looks like it’s taking on the brown color of the balsamic reduction place it in a glass baking dish (pour any balsamic left in the bag onto the chicken) and put in an oven heated to 350*. Cook for approximately 45 minutes. Peek in now and again after ½ hour depending on the type of chicken cut you’re using. It will easily fall off the bone from it being so moist.
Step three: Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Peel the potatoes and roughly cube. Clean the cauliflower and roughly chop. Place in a pot and fill with water until they are just covered. Bring to a boil on the cooktop then lower heat to medium. Cook until you can pierce the potatoes and cauliflower with a fork (soft but not falling apart). Drain them off and pour back into pot. Add a dollop of sour cream, 2 tsp butter, and splash of milk. Get to mashing the cauliflower and potatoes up with your hand masher or electric hand mixer. I usually add salt & pepper to taste after I have it all mixed up. You can easily make these ahead of time and heat up when the chicken is ready.
You have now made a gourmet dinner that will knock your taste buds’ socks off if they wore socks.
A little about me … I am 41 years old and grew up in Washington state. The town I grew up in is Ridgefield, Washington. Our high school mascot was a potato. Yes, you read that right, a POTATO. We were called “THE SPUDDERS”. When the high school was built the two main crops around those parts were potatoes and prunes. I am quite relieved they went with option one.
Ok everyone – I hope you enjoy this week’s submission. Next week we talk Caramel Corn!