CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken And Potatoes With Tomato Sauce

Potatoes and tomatoes. Many people might think that’s an unlikely pairing — you could probably count me in that group unless you were referring to french fries and ketchup — but there are some days when you just want to try something new.

So when I came across the following recipe, even though my food radar didn’t exactly light up, I thought what the heck, why not. The recipe was quick and easy and the result pleasantly surprising. (Of course, I added and subtracted a bit from the original recipe and substituted pheasant for the chicken).

If you are looking for a tasty skillet meal, give this a try. It just might become an old favorite.

Chicken and Potatoes with Tomato Sauce
3 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
½ cup olive oil to fry
2 pounds chicken, thighs or breasts, boned and cut into small pieces
4 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 pint canned
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¾ cup hot water
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
½ teaspoon cumin
Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet and fry the potatoes until slightly tender. Don’t fry them completely. Transfer them on a paper towel. Drain the excessive oil.
Place the chicken in the same skillet. Bring the heat to medium low and cook them covered. Let them release their juice and cook for about 20 minutes until they absorb almost all the juice. They will get tender enough in the meantime. Make sure there is still a little juice inside the pan. Flip them over occasionally and let both sides are cooked and browned well. Put the half fried potatoes in the skillet. Toss in chopped tomatoes, onion and garlic cloves.
In a separate bowl, combine pepper paste or tomato paste, lemon juice, hot water, salt and spices. Pour it into the skillet and cook covered until tomatoes and potatoes are completely tender, about 15 minutes. You can add extra hot water if there isn’t any juice left in the skillet.
Serve hot.

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