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No-Thyme Quick Chicken with Smash Broc-o-tatoes and Gouda Gravy

Serves 4

This menu is based on the back-in-the-day idea of a good, square meal: meat, vegetable and starch. The flavors have all gotten an update, though!


  • 4 Idaho potatoes, peeled and cubed into 2-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 4 medium pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme (a few sprigs), stripped and chopped
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 head broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets and 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or half-and-half, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gouda cheese


  1. Place potatoes in pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, salt water, reduce heat a bit and cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Heads up: about halfway through you will add broccoli to the pot, so use a pot large enough to accommodate both.
  2. Season the chicken breast pieces with thyme, salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken for 6 minutes on each side.
  3. Add broccoli to the potatoes and cook for 6 minutes.
  4. Heat butter in a small saucepot over medium heat. When butter has melted, add in flour and cook for 1 minute, then whisk in chicken stock and 1 cup milk or half-and-half. Thicken 2-3 minutes, season the sauce with salt and pepper, then stir in the cheese in a figure eight motion with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes, or until melted. Turn off heat.
  5. Drain cooked broccoli and potatoes and return to hot pot to dry them out. Mash the broccoli and potatoes together with up to 1/2 cup milk or half-and-half to desired consistency and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Slice the chicken breasts on an angle. Pile some mashed Broc-o-tatoes on plates and arrange the fanned out chicken on the edge of the mound and pour the Gouda Gravy over the top.