Grilled Chicken Thighs Cacciatore with Super Smashed Garlic Potatoes
Turn simple chicken thighs into a special meal with this recipe. The marinade is fantastic, and can be used for a variety of meats and vegetables.
Starchy potatoes, like Idaho or Russet, are my choice when making baked or mashed potatoes because they turn out light and fluffy, while low-starch potatoes like red or new potatoes hold their shape when roasted or tossed in potato salad. –RR
- 4 large starchy potatoes, such as Idaho
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (eyeball it)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (1/3 palmful)
- 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary (4-5 sprigs), stripped and leaves chopped
- 4 large portobello mushroom caps, wiped clean with damp towel
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (6 pieces or 1 package)
- Coarse black pepper
- 2 cubanelle (Italian, light green) peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes (28 ounces), diced and lightly drained, such as Muir Glen brand
- A generous handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup milk (eyeball it)
- 1 cup shredded or grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Romano cheese (3 generous handfuls)
Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high heat.
Peel the potatoes and cut them into small chunks. Place potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Cover the pot and bring up to a boil over high heat. Uncover, add salt to season up the potatoes and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
Heat a small pot over medium-low heat and add EVOO, about one tablespoon – just eyeball it. Add two tablespoons butter in small pieces. When butter melts into EVOO, add four cloves of chopped garlic. Sauté garlic 1-2 minutes, then add scallions; remove pan from heat and reserve.
Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
In a large bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, crushed red pepper flakes and rosemary, then whisk in about 1/2 cup EVOO (eyeball it). Turn portobello caps in marinade and transfer to a plate to reserve. Add chicken thighs to remaining marinade and coat evenly.
Season one side of the chicken thighs, as well as the reserved mushroom caps, with salt and pepper, then transfer just the thighs to hot grill, seasoned side down. Season the opposite side of the chicken thighs and grill for six minutes on each side, then transfer to a plate to rest. Add raw marinated mushroom caps to grill and top with a heavy skillet to press down on them as they grill. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side until dark, tender and well-marked.
While chicken thighs and mushrooms cook, add a tablespoon EVOO, a turn of the pan, to hot skillet. Add remaining two cloves of garlic, peppers and onions to the skillet and season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing frequently, 7-8 minutes. Add tomatoes and parsley to the pan and toss to heat through, about one minute, then remove from heat.
Thinly slice rested chicken thigh meat and grilled mushrooms.
Drain potatoes, then return them to the hot pot to evaporate some of the water content. Add the reserved garlic and scallion mixture to the potatoes along with the ricotta, 1/2 cup milk and grated cheese and smash away to combine potatoes with cheeses and milk. Season the super smashers with salt and pepper.
Pile up a quarter of the potatoes on each plate. Top each pile with a quarter of the chicken, mushrooms and sauce and serve immediately. Yum-o!