Friday, January 25, 2008

Chicken alla Pizzaioli

I checked out a few cookbooks from the library and have been reading them like a smutty romance novel. I just love them. I am always looking for chances to steal away with my sticky notes and read. Here is a recipe from the fruits of my reading via Giada. The recipe originally called for pork chops, but I only had one in the freezer. So I used chicken and it was great.

I would say this is comforting and hearty, but sophisticated at the same time. It would work well with any crowd.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt and ground pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp herbes de Provence
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes, or more to taste

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil. Once the oil runs quickly in the pan, add the chicken to the skillet and cook on both sides until they are browned and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken breast registers 165 degrees. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate and tent with foil to keep them warm (set it in the microwave).

Add the onion to the same skillet and saute over medium heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, herbes de Provence, and red pepper flakes. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend and the juices thicken slightly, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices from the plate to the skillet and turn the chicken to coat with the sauce. Place one chicken breast on each plate. Spoon the sauce over the top.

Yields 4 servings.

Rookie's Notes: Herbes de Provence. Of course I didn't have any. But I did a little research on a good substitute. I used 1/4 tsp. each of marjoram, savory, rosemary and thyme. All those combined gave the sauce an unsuspected, fresh taste. So don't buy herbes de Provence, just use the substitute.

Also, as the sauce was simmering, it looked like it was missing something. So I added 1/4 tsp. minced garlic and then it looked right.