Tender chicken breast with a delicate, rosemary-scented cream sauce served alongside a golden-toasted potato cake with Parmesan.
½ cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
3 (3-inch/7.5cm) sprigs fresh rosemary
5 medium-sized Yukon Gold, or other waxy potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds/680g), peeled and cut in half
2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (80ml) half and half or light cream
1 teaspoon (5ml) salt
2 tablespoons (30ml) thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts
2 eggs slightly beaten, divided
2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil
½ cup (45g) finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 (6-ounce/170g) boneless half chicken breasts, skin on
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon (15g) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon (15ml) all-purpose flour
½ cup (125ml) half and half or light cream
½ cup (125ml) chicken stock
1 cup (30g) loosely packed flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) minced rosemary leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a small, heavy-bottomed skillet over low heat. Add the rosemary sprigs and cook for 10 minutes. Set the pan aside.
Put the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover them by 2 inches (5cm). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender about 20 to 30 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan, off the heat. Add the half and half, butter, and the 1 teaspoon (5ml) salt. Mix and mash the potatoes with a large whisk or potato masher to a stiff, slightly lumpy consistency.
When the potatoes are completely cool, mix in the scallions, and half of the beaten egg.
Heat the oven to 375° F (190° C).
Coat a large baking sheet with the vegetable oil. Form the potato mixture into 8 round cakes, 1-inch (2.5cm) thick, and place them on the oiled sheet.
Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the potato cakes with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until the tops of the cakes are golden brown.
While the potato cakes are cooking, sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 tablespoon (15ml) of the rosemary oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken breasts skin side down and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the breasts over and cook 2 minutes. Spoon the fat in the pan over the chicken breasts.
Place the skillet in the oven (with the potato cakes) and roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let rest, for at least 5 minutes.
In the meantime, make the sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) of the rosemary oil with the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour, and bring to a sizzle over medium heat stirring frequently.
Add the chicken stock and half and half. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, to thicken the sauce. Add the parsley and minced rosemary and simmer for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve, cut each half breast crosswise into 8 slices. Arrange the chicken slices and 2 potato cakes on each plate. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.