baked-chicken-dinner-2

I served mashed potatoes, gravy, and asparagus with the baked chicken dinner, so I thought I’d do a quick run thru of those.

Ingredients:

For mashed potatoes:

4 medium potatoes

1 Tbsp. 2% milk

For gravy:

Chicken drippings

2-1/4 cups of water

4-5 Tbsp. All Purpose Flour

2 chicken bouillon cubes

For asparagus:

1-2 cups water

Asparagus

We’ll start in the order that I prepared them to go with the baked chicken.  First the mashed potatoes.  Take 4 medium to large potatoes and peel them.  Then cut them up in chucks about an inch or so thick.  Put the chunks of potato in a large pot of water, boil for 20 minutes.

While that’s going, dump the drippings from the chicken baking pan into a sauce pan.  Turn the heat on medium and add half of the water.  Put the other half of the water in the microwave and heat it for about 2-3 minutes, add the two bouillon cubes to that water and let them dissolve.  While they are dissolving start adding the flour to your pot of hot drippings and water. Use a wire whisk to mix the flour in a little bit at a time.  The tricky part of gravy for most people is getting it smooth.  I achieve this by having the liquid hot (but not boiling) and whisking it constantly.  After you get half of your flower in you can start adding the water with bouillon to the pot, then the rest of the flour until the flour and bouillon water is all mixed in.  Keep heating and stirring the gravy as it thickens.  When it gets close to the consistency you want, turn the heat to low.  Let in keep warm stirring occasionally while you start your asparagus.

I use a steam pot for asparagus.  You can just boil it in a regular pot of water for a few minutes too.  For the steam pot, first I rinse the asparagus and trim off the ends.  Them I snap the spears down into chunks short enough to fit in the pan.  I usually put the small stem chunks on the bottom, the place larger spear chunks on the top in the steamer.  Steam for 2-3 minutes, then turn off the heat and just let it steam.  (Without a steamer, boil for 2-3 minutes, turn heat off, then let stand.  The asparagus will continue cooking in hot water) Remember to give that gravy a stir.

When your potatoes are done boiling, you should be able to easily pierce the soft potato with a fork.  Take them off the stove and drain the water out of the pan. When my mom would make a big batch of these for thanksgiving, she would use an electric mixer to get the potatoes all mashed and smooth.  Since this is a small batch, I just do it by hand.  Grab you handy potato masher and start squashing the potato chunks.  As you mash them up add 1 Tbsp. of milk stir it in, then mash some more.  Give the gravy another good stir before you turn off the heat and plate your dinner.