Chicken, Potato, Tomato Gratin; oven woes

This is what one has for dinner when the intention is to have grilled chicken breasts and a salad but the temperature plunges, the wind comes up and it starts pouring rain.

The furnace / boiler had been turned off and both the fireplace and wood stove cleaned, so we had no heat.

It was only logical to turn the oven on.

As long as the oven was on I decided to put it to a good use: Dinner.

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Chicken, Potato, Tomato Gratin

Chicken, Potato, Tomato Gratin, an easy dinner from the oven, finished with a sprinkle of cheese.

  • Author: Katie Zeller
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Casserole
  • Cuisine: American


  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into large pieces
  • 2 medium potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 2 shallots, peeled, quartered
  • 4 green garlic, thickly sliced, including green tops (or use green onion)
  • 1 tbs fresh tarragon, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbs fresh marjoram, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I use celery salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbs Marsala or dry sherry or white wine (or chicken stock)
  • 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese
  • 1 tbs olive oil


  • Toss potatoes with oil and salt.
  • Put into a baking dish large enough to hold them in one layer, not crowded. Roast, 400F (200C) for 15 minutes.
  • While potatoes roast, peel / chop / cut the rest of the ingredients.
  • Remove potatoes from oven and add tomatoes, herbs, shallots, green garlic, Marsala. Stir well .
  • Top with the chicken pieces. Sprinkle chicken with paprika.
  • Return to oven and roast, 30 minutes, uncovered.
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle with cheese and bake, 10 minutes longer.
  • Remove and serve.


You could add carrots with the potatoes, or stir in chopped spinach before the cheese if you are looking for more veg….

Chicken, Potato, Tomato Gratin

I don’t remember why, as I was very young, but I remember my mother using the oven for heat. It was winter and very, very cold. For some reason we didn’t have heat in the house. She hung blankets over the windows and doors and had the oven on with the oven door open. Our kitchen was small so it was adequate. My mother, my baby brother and I spent the morning in the kitchen staring at the oven.

My oven just quit working. (The chicken dish was last night….)

Just now.

We were given oodles of cherries so I decided to make a cherry crisp (recipe to follow). When I took it out of the oven it was a little darker than I expected, but I didn’t think anything of it.

I turned the oven off and went back to my desk.

Half an hour later, I went back to the kitchen and the oven was not only on but really hot. The element was bright orange.

We couldn’t get it to turn off.

Mon mari finally turned off the circuit.

We are not pleased.

I’m now going online to search for a new oven.


10 thoughts on “Chicken, Potato, Tomato Gratin; oven woes”

  1. I am fortunate to have a gas oven. Even if the power goes out and the electronic ignitions therefore don’t work, I can still light the oven or burners. I know you’re not in a position to have a gas unit though. At least, I thought you’d talked about that at one time. I’m just so glad though that the malfunctioning oven didn’t burn the house down!

    My mother never wanted gas in her house. She had relatives who hadn’t shown up for church one Sunday and when a couple of the parishioner/friends went to check on the family, they’d had a gas leak overnight and it wiped out the family so my mother refused to consider it. Consequently, we had oil heat and I remember times when the heat would quit, either because we were out of oil or the line into the house had frozen because of condensation. My mother would do the same thing. Our kitchen was also small so she would cover the windows and turn on the oven. I hadn’t thought of that in years…

    This recipe is a definite go for me! It’s been way too rainy out to want to stand outside and while the temps have been in the 60’s, it’s clammy and just plain nasty so we’re not grilling yet.

    • We would have to bring in the bottles and I really didn’t want to do that so it’s all electric. The thought of what could have happened if it would have been at night was quite terrifying…. Which is why I’m getting a new one rather than trying to fix this one
      We had a big tank in the basement for furnace and stove. Also a scary thought lol. I remember when they finally moved it outside and buried it.

  2. Good luck with your oven search and then adjusting to it.
    Today was the last day of the season for our asparagus people. It is not only their asparagus I am going to miss but also their happy banter as they serve the long queue of customers.

    • It’s always sad to see the end of the asparagus. Our favorite asparagus grower quit a few years ago – that was even sadder. This oven has a dial for temperature = typical french dial with numbers for 100, 150, 200 etc. – and one just guesses for the in-between. I didn’t notice and I will be adjusting lol
      (Actually, I just assumed the the temp would be displayed. They’re not)

      • That is the only type of oven I’ve had in nearly 50 years of cooking and baking! I could work out the in between temperatures with an electric oven but not the gas oven I have now because it is not the same number of degrees between the graduations. I have resorted to using a separate oven thermometer.

  3. What! A! Drag!

    Didn’t you just get a new oven?! (Okay, maybe it isn’t “just”, but surely your oven isn’t much more that 10 years old!)

    I hope the oodles of cherries weren’t ruined!

    • The cherry crisp was fine – luckily it happened at the end of the baking… a little dark but we just called it caramelized. The oven was only 9 yrs old…. Very disappointing

  4. Very disappointing indeed. I guess it’s not still on warrantee, though.

    That’s a relief that teh cherry crisp wasn’t ruined. (Good idea to use the word “caramelized” for those little char marks….)

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