May 1, 2014

Tuscan Chicken

Since I'm a senior, tomorrow is my last day of school. That means (among other things) that I have a lot more free time to do stuff like go to farmers markets and cook with all of the amazing produce. I'm always looking for a fast new chicken recipe to make for weeknight dinners, and this Tuscan chicken is delicious (and only uses one pot!). It's full of fragrant Italian herbs, savory mushrooms, and tart tomatoes, and it's pretty healthy, too. There's a ton of extra sauce, which would be even better as leftovers served over pasta.

I begin by searing the chicken. This is a key step because otherwise you are essentially poaching the chicken in a tomato-y sauce. That sounds pretty good, but trust me on this one; searing is so much better. It starts to caramelize the chicken, and the bits left over in the pan will deepen the flavors of the vegetables you saute afterwards.

The mushrooms get cooked next. You want to cook them until they are just tender and begin to brown; they will cook more when you simmer the sauce at the end. I like to do this in batches so that I make sure they all get nice and brown and they don't just steam. Unless you have an enormous skillet, I recommend cooking about half at a time.

After I cook the mushrooms, I saute the onions, garlic, and sun dried tomatoes in the same pan. I use both sun dried tomatoes and canned diced tomatoes to add variety to the texture. The sun dried tomatoes hydrate in the liquid from the sauce and become slightly chewy but in a good way. The diced tomatoes become something like a chunky tomato sauce. I like both, but you can always change the proportions if you want. I also stir in some cannellini beans because they just seem to work in this recipe.

Once the vegetables are all cooked off, I return the chicken to the pan and simmer everything together. The chicken takes on the flavors of the sauce, and it's so much better than simply spooning some sauce on top of the chicken when you serve it. However, the sauce is delicious just spooned over pasta. If it's a little too liquidy, you can add some pasta water because the starch from the pasta cooks into the water and works as an amazing thickener for sauces. You can never have too much pasta in your life, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Even though the chicken is the true star of the dish, pasta just makes everything a little bit better.

1 lb Chicken
½ tsp Oregano
½ tsp Thyme
½ tsp Basil
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 Small Yellow Onion, Diced
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
12 oz Baby Portobello Mushrooms, Sliced
⅔ Cup Sundried Tomatoes, Chopped
1 15 oz Can Cannellini Beans, Drained & Rinsed
2 15 oz Cans Diced Tomatoes
1 T Sugar
¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Heat some oil in a large pot. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sear until golden brown on each side. Set aside.

Heat some more oil in the pot and add half the mushrooms. Cook until browned, set aside, and repeat with the remaining mushrooms.

Add some more oil to the pot. Cook the onion until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sundried tomatoes and cook until the garlic is golden, about 3 minutes. Stir in the beans, diced tomatoes, oregano, thyme, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.

Return the chicken to the pot, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Serves 4
Recipe Adapted from The Wanderlust Kitchen

No comments:

Post a Comment