Ina's Skillet-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
You win some, you lose some. This is the first official dud from the cookbook. The aromas of this and the ingredients had me believing that this would be one of our favorites, but I was disappointed. The skin wasn't crispy enough and there wasn't nearly enough flavor on the chicken, though the potatoes, that cooked in the juices, were delicious. I think this can be fixed, with some major adjustments, so I will tweak this as much as I can to make it what I believe it can be. I believe in you, Skillet-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes! You can do it!
Let's break it down.
Fairly simple, as long as you ensure you have enough time to marinate the chicken in the buttermilk mixture in the fridge before cooking. A lot of the prep can happen while things are cooking, and not much needs to be done beforehand. There are a bunch of steps, but nothing the most novice of home cooks can't handle.
Ina says to cook this in a 350 degree oven for a half hour, before removing the chicken, adding the potatoes, adding the chicken back in, then cooking for another half hour at 350...then removing the chicken from the skillet and cranking the heat to 425 to finish off the potatoes. Unfortunately, a 350 degree oven is not going to give you that crispy skin that is so desired. The timing she gave for the potatoes didn't cause the potatoes to crisp up in the end, either. Bummer. As you know, I am following the directions EXACTLY, but I kept the potatoes in 10 minutes longer than Ina suggested and they STILL didn't brown very much. They were tender and delicious, but zero crisp. Is this turning into a scathing review? Sorry...
Don't bother with this. Sure, it looks delicious and sounds like it should be a clear winner, but it's just not. The chicken was bland. If I make this again, I would probably use breasts on the bone versus thighs, just because that cut of chicken is a preference, and I would marinate the chicken in more than just buttermilk and salt and pepper. I'd probably add paprika and thyme directly to the marinade before using it again for the cooking portion. I would cook this at a higher temperature for the second half hour, for a shorter period of time, and leave the potatoes in for about 15 minutes longer (though maybe that won't be necessary if the cook time is higher on the second round of cooking). Try, try again!