Braised Balsamic Chicken and Potato Croquettes–January Recipes #3&4

I have this cool little app on my phone from allrecipes.com.  It’s called Dinner Spinner.  You can search for recipes, or as the name suggests, give your phone a shake and see what comes up.  There are three different rows–type of meal, ingredient, and prep/cooking time.  The pictures spin like a slot machine and when they stop you view the recipes that match.  I let the kids shake it to see what kinds of recipes we could find.  It took us quite a while to even find a match we actually wanted recipes for…it kept coming up with combinations like cookies, lamb, 45 minutes or less (shockingly, there are no recipes in that category); bread, shellfish, over 1 hour (no thanks); or dessert, grain, slow cooker (what?).

So, since my children aren’t terribly adventurous eaters (nor, for that matter, is my husband), I settled on a chicken main dish and a potato side–Braised Balsamic Chicken and Potato Croquettes.  The potato recipe suggests that it is a good use for leftover mashed potatoes, and calls for 4 cups.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a meal where there were 4 cups of leftover mashed potatoes in my life.  (My husband and I once went to once of those mom-and-pop, real-home-cookin’ restaurants and we both ordered open-faced roast beef sandwiches.  When the waitress brought our plates, she apologized and said, “I’m sorry, I think I got a little too much gravy on those.”  Lady, ain’t no such thing!)  I used Bob Evans refrigerated mashed potatoes.  The recipe calls for 4 cups, but the package I bought only had 2 1/2, so I cut the recipe approximately in half.

The Potato Croquettes recipe says it feeds 4…at 600 calories per serving!  That’s a lot for something I’m planning on using as a side dish, so I’ve already cut calories just by cutting the recipe in half.  I’m going to cut it in half again by freezing half of the croquettes before cooking.  We’re also having green beans as an additional side.

The Balsamic Chicken claims just over 200 calories per serving.  I’ve also cut that recipe in half because I only have 3 chicken breasts instead of the 6 called for in the recipe.  I’m also cutting each breast in half, because that’s usually enough for me.  I left out the onions because my husband and kids don’t like them, and I also removed 4 of my 6 pieces of chicken from the pan before adding the tomatoes because they don’t like those either.

The chicken and potatoes were both a big hit.  The mashed potatoes weren’t thick enough to make patties, so I added bread crumbs to the mixture until they were the right consistency.  I think I’ll experiment with the tomato mixture a little.  I’m not sure I’m a fan of rosemary.  I would like it to be more like a stewed tomatoes taste.  All in all, it was a very successful meal.  My son asked me “What are those potato things called again?”  I told him they were potato croquettes.  He replied, “I just call them potato yummy!”

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