Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Italian Rustic Chicken Dinner

I made the following in 25 minutes; from the first slice of the tomato until I plated it. Fast, easy and very good. This does not have too much in the way of subtle flavors - its just a great tomato, garlic, olive oil and basil flavored dish. This makes a large serving for one of a Sauteed Chicken Breast, Fresh Tomato Sauce, Sauteed Italian Vegetables and Pasta.

  • 1 Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast, pounded to about 1/4 an inch (buy at WholeFoods or make yourself)
  • 4 Medium ripe Tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 a White Onion, julienned
  • 1 small Italian Eggplant, sliced thin
  • 1 small Zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1/2 a Red Bell Pepper, julienned and cut in thirds
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 5 Basil leaves, chopped
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Fresh Pasta
  • Parmesan Cheese - 1/4 cup or so

There are four separate dishes that are all cooked at the same time.
  • Preheat the oven to 325
  • Melt 1 tbs of butter in a skillet and saute the Chicken Breast on both sides, just until it is golden brown.
  • Cut the Tomatoes in half, top half and bottom half and place in a french chef pan or another skillet and start cooking on medium high heat.
  • Prep the Vegetables
  • By this time the Chicken should be done; move it to a pan and place in the oven to finish cooking
  • Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet the chicken was cooked in and start sauteing the Onion.
  • By now the Tomatoes should be starting to break down; mash a bit with a potato masher right in the pan, turn them down to medium and let them continue to cook.
  • Add the Eggplant to the skillet with the Onion and let them saute
  • Add a few pinches of salt to the Tomatoes and two or three tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Stir the Vegetables and let them saute until the onions start to caramelize. You should flip the eggplant so it cooks on both sides.
  • Smash the garlic to remove the skins and throw the broken garlic into the Tomatoes.
  • Add the zucchini and red bell pepper to the Vegetable mixture and continue to saute. Sprinkle with a teaspoon or so of kosher salt and some fresh black pepper.
  • Stir the Tomatoes and add more olive oil if needed - if too much liquid has cooked out.
  • Start a pan of boiling water for the Pasta. The pasta I had only took 1 1/2 minutes to cook. So I added it near the end.
  • Add the chopped basil to the Tomatoes.
  • Basically you are now stirring both the Tomato Sauce and the Vegetables - breaking down the tomatoes and forming a nice sauce, and sauteing the vegetables until they are done.
  • At the end (this was about 20 minutes from start); put a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce into the Vegetables and stir them around a bit to get some tomato and garlic flavor on them.

At this point everything should be done and you just have to plate.
  • Pour the pasta into a strainer
  • Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce onto a plate
  • Place the chicken on the sauce and add some pasta next to it.
  • Spoon sauce on top of the pasta and chicken
  • Add vegetables to the plate
  • If there is any sauce left spoon some on top of the vegetables
  • Sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese and serve!

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