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The Food Processor

Baked Chicken in a Potato 'Skin'

September 29, 1988|JANE SALZFASS FREIMAN | Freiman is a New York-based food writer

Even dieters can enjoy this simple main course of mustard-baked chicken breast. With just about 232 calories per ample portion, the chicken is low in fat because the natural chicken skin is removed. No salt is added to the coating mixture.

The surprise is that the chicken does not look pale and unappetizing. Shredded potato, spread on top of the chicken, creates a beautifully browned "skin" with crisp and crunchy spots.

The "skin" is quickly prepared in the processor using the medium shredding disc that is standard equipment for all machines. To create long potato shreds, the potato is inserted sideways into the processor food chute and sliced with a firm push. The resulting shreds should be nearly as long as the potato (or as long as the width of the food chute).

Final Bronzing Done in Broiler

In order to cook thoroughly and brown properly, the potato shreds must be long so that they can be spread into a thin, even layer on top of the mustard-coated chicken breast pieces, covering each thoroughly. During baking, the potato softens and begins to brown. The final bronzing is done in the broiler.

Mustard is critical to the taste of the chicken--the better the flavor of the mustard, the better the chicken. Since most mustards are made with a considerable amount of salt, it is best to taste the mustard you intend to use in advance. But keep in mind that the flavor of mustard--even the Dijon-style mustard recommended for the recipe--will vary from brand to brand.

BAKED CHICKEN WITH POTATO "SKIN"

1/4 cup firmly packed parsley leaves

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 medium potato, peeled

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

2 whole chicken breasts, skinned and split

Pepper

Insert metal blade in dry processor. Process parsley until minced. With motor running, add garlic to machine. Add mustard and process 10 seconds. Transfer mixture to small bowl and set aside.

Change to medium shredding disc. Insert potato sideways in food chute and shred with firm push. Transfer shreds to bowl of cold water and let stand 5 minutes. Rinse and drain thoroughly, then pat potato shreds dry in paper towels. Dry bowl, add potato shreds and toss thoroughly with olive oil.

Brush each chicken piece with 1 tablespoon mustard mixture and place chicken, bone-side down, on jellyroll pan or other flat pan that will fit under broiler. Top each chicken piece with scant 1/2-cup potato shreds, spreading shreds into thin even layer to replace chicken skin. Sprinkle breasts lightly with pepper.

Bake at 375 degrees 20 minutes, or until juices just run clear when chicken is pierced with skewer. Transfer pan to broiler and broil breasts 5 minutes or until 'skin' is crisped and browned (watch chicken carefully during broiling.) Makes 4 servings.

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