Butter-Basted Chicken with Cacio e Pepe Mashed Potatoes and Thyme-Roasted Carrots
Glazing chicken in a mixture of butter, chicken stock, garlic, and thyme is the ultimate way to ensure juicy, ultra-flavorful meat. Cacio e pepe, a traditional Italian pasta dish, was the inspiration behind these Parmesan and black pepper-spiked potatoes.
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Veggie Stock Concentrate
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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and halve the carrots lengthwise, quartering any larger ones. Strip the leaves from half the thyme sprigs and roughly chop. Toss the carrots on a baking sheet with the chopped thyme and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until soft and deeply caramelized.
Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes into ½-inch cubes. Place the potatoes in a medium pot with a pinch of salt and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10-12 minutes, until easily pierced with a fork. Drain.
While the potatoes cook, smash 1 garlic clove with the flat of your knife. Mince or grate the remaining garlic clove.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and sear 5-6 minutes per side, until just cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with a knife.
Add 1 tablespoon butter, the smashed garlic, and the remaining thyme sprigs to the pan. Once the butter melts, tilt the pan towards you and, using a spoon, repeatedly spoon the garlic and thyme-infused butter over the chicken breasts for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock concentrate and ½ cup water to the pan and increase heat to high. Stir to combine thoroughly, then let liquid reduce until very thick. Spoon the glaze over the chicken and set aside to rest for a few minutes.
In the same pot you cooked the potatoes in, heat 1 tablespoon butter and the minced garlic over low heat. Cook 30 seconds, until fragrant and melted. Return the drained potatoes to the pot along with the milk. Mash with potato masher (or fork if you do not have one) until very smooth. Mash in the Parmesan cheese and season very generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Serve the chicken on a bed of mashed potatoes and roasted carrots. Drizzle any remaining glaze in the pan over the plate and garnish with a sprig of thyme. Enjoy! Tip: if the glaze has become too thick, just add a splash of water and stir to loosen it up!