Chicken and mashed potatoes is an extremely comforting combination, which probably explains why the pairing is so timeless. This family-style version adds apple cider to the mix for a tangy, subtly sweet touch: pan-seared chicken is roasted over a bed of Brussels sprouts and served with a side of Cheddar-cheesy mashed potatoes, then topped with pan gravy made from apple cider and apple cider vinegar. The result? A comforting, seasonally inspired spin on one of dinnertime’s most classic couplings.
Searing chicken in a dry pan might sound crazy, but there’s good reason! Its natural fat will slowly melt from beneath its skin, making it crispy without added oil or butter.
Russet potatoes are great for mashing because they’re high in starch, with a light texture. Mash until smooth but still fluffy. Over- mashing can create a gluey texture.
1 teaspoon olive oil
8″ medium pot with lid
12″ large ovenproof pan
potato masher (optional)
3 russet potatoes
3 boneless chicken breasts
12 ounces shredded Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons heavy cream
4 ounces milk
11⁄2 ounces shredded white Cheddar cheese
11⁄2 tablespoons butter
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel shallot and mince. Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Peel potato and cut into 1⁄2-inch dice, then place in a medium pot. Cover with cold water and season generously with salt, then bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender when pierced with a knife tip, about 8 minutes. Drain and return to pot, off heat, then cover and set aside.
While potatoes boil, place a large ovenproof pan over medium heat. Season chicken all over with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. When pan is just smoking, add chicken skin-side down and sear until skin is golden brown and easily lifts from pan, 8-9 minutes (see Recipe Tip). Transfer chicken to a plate, skin-side up, leaving behind any juices in pan.
Add Brussels sprouts to pan with chicken over medium heat and toss to coat with any pan juices. Season with 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired and cook to soften slightly, about 2 minutes. Return chicken to pan, skin- side up, nestling into Brussels sprouts. Transfer to oven and roast until Brussels sprouts are golden and chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, 12- 15 minutes. Divide between 2 serving plates, reserving pan for gravy.
While chicken roasts, add heavy cream, Cheddar, butter, and half of milk to pot with potatoes. Using a large fork or potato masher, mash until smooth (see Recipe Tip). Taste and add more salt and pepper as desired, then cover to keep warm until serving. Save remaining milk for your morning coffee.
Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan from chicken over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add shallot and cook until translucent, 1-2 minutes. Add apple cider and apple cider vinegar and cook, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan, until liquid has reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
Spoon pan gravy over chicken. Serve with Cheddar mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts and dig in!