Spring Smothered Chicken with Herb Smashed Potatoes.
This spatchcock spring chicken is a lovely comforting dish! The chicken is pressed into a cast iron skillet and cooked until it is fall-apart tender. Served over garlic herb mashed potatoes and a white wine pan gravy – it’s amazing!
This is spring comfort food at its finest!
A spatchcocked roasted chicken with white wine pan gravy, peas and smashed potatoes loaded with fresh herbs and garlic butter? SIGN ME UP.
This sounds like the best thing I will eat all spring.
It’s such a funny time here because ever since it officially became spring on the calendar, it’s been freezing. It may not be THAT cold, but once we have one or two warmer days, my temperature threshold is out the window. 45 degrees feels like 20, I’m cold and want to make comfort food, while at the same time it’s bright and sunny and I need the AC on in the car mid-afternoon. Confusion!
Hence the need for some spring comfort food. A tender, fall-off-the-bone chicken, smothered in gravy and green peas and served over herby potatoes. Love love love.
Remember this smothered chicken with buttered mushrooms? Oh my. That is truly one of the best meals ever. Eddie requests it a few times a year and it’s just SPECIAL. Very comforting and delicious. Plus, it has lots of nostalgic flavors.
The original recipe is from the NYT and absolutely wonderful. It’s the chicken-under-a-brick method and you cook the entire thing in the cast iron skillet on the stovetop. The spatchcock chicken is key, which is very easy once you’ve done it a few times. Here’s a photo tutorial! This helps the chicken cook rather quickly and evenly. And leaves all the delish flavor in the pan.
So we make a spring version!! I guess the peas are what make it spring-like, which is basically a copout since I’m using frozen peas. But here we are. We have frozen peas all the time in this house. My kids love them (especially Emilia) and so does Eddie, and I find that adding frozen peas to almost anything is such an easy way to get in a veggie.
They cook instantly and add a nice pop of flavor too. Plus a gorgeous green color.
The chicken can’t be made without a gravy. The pan sauce is the ultimate winner here. It makes the chicken a million times more amazing than it is. It’s also the MVP because you can drag slices of rustic sourdough through it and enjoy.
I wouldn’t hate a pan of gravy and a loaf of sourdough for dinner…
On the side, we have garlic herb smashed potatoes. Talk about COZY.
The potatoes are super simple. Boil mini gold potatoes, then mash with the skins still on. This is Eddie’s favorite way. The texture is phenomenal. Add some butter, cream, fresh herbs, salt and pepper – boom, you’re done. The herbs make this taste light even though we’re eating mashed potatoes. You know.
And the gravy! I mean, the gravy on the potatoes is superb.
And there we go! A GOOD meal, one that takes the love of cooking, will be ready to eat in roughly 90 minutes. It’s a little high maintenance but boy is it worth it. And it tastes incredible too.
Spatchcock Spring Chicken
Smothered Chicken with Spring Smashed Potatoes and White Wine Gravy
- Note: for this recipe, you want something super heavy, like a brick or a small baking dish filled with weights. I actually use a 6×6 inch baking dish or a plate and place two 8-pound weights inside of/on it!
- Take the chicken and spatchcock it – meaning you want to cut out the backbone and flatten it. It’s intimidating at first, but once you do it, it’s easy! Here is a photo tutorial. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and once it’s melted, place the chicken skin-side down in the skillet, tucking the wings underneath. Place the plate or dish on top and put your weight (brights/weights/cans/etc) on top of it. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the skin is crispy and golden brown.
- Remove the weights and plate and carefully flip the chicken over so it’s skin-side up. Replace the plate and weights and cook for 15 to 20 minutes more.
- After 20 minutes, transfer the chicken to a plate. It’s okay if it starts to fall apart here! I like to leave all of the fat in the skillet unless there is a ridiculous amount (I like up to about 1/4 cup in the skillet). Whisk in the minced garlic and the flour to create a roux – you want the mixture to be golden in color and smell fragrant. Very slowly whisk in the stock and white wine, whisking the entire time until the mixture thickens. Stir in the frozen peas. Once the gravy has thickened, add the chicken back to the skillet, skin-side up. Cover with the plate and weights again and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F.
- To serve, pull the chicken apart (it should fall apart on its own!) and place it on a plate. Serve with the spring mashed potatoes and pan gravy.
smashed spring potatoes
- Fill a pot with the potatoes, cover them with cold water and add a few pinches of salt. Bring the pot to a boil. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.
- Heat the butter and cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add in the garlic. Turn off the heat.
- Once the potatoes are tender, drain the water and add the potatoes back to the pot. Begin to mash them (skin and all!) with a potato masher or fork. Stream in the melted butter and cream. Add in the herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Smash some more and taste. If needed, season with more salt and pepper.