Sunday, May 20, 2012

Red Pepper Smothered Chicken

By my blog, you would probably think that I only cook sweets for my family. That is just not the case. I do, however make at least one sweet a day (because I don't have just one sweet tooth, God blessed me with an entire mouth full). On the days that I don't post what's for dinner it's because it was something that is mostly assembly rather than recipe (spaghetti, hamburgers, etc) or I have already posted the recipe for it (taco salad, pizza, Cornbread and Egg Gravy, etc).
  Tonight I threw together a new recipe. So, I get to share something savory with you. :)
It's very easy with only a few ingredients. Chunks of white meat chicken is cooked in a slightly thickened sauce with onions, garlic, mushrooms and roasted red peppers. There are many variations on a smothered chicken (chicken with vegetables and sauce), but I had two roasted red peppers that I wanted to use so that is the variation I made tonight. This meal could easily be gluten free, if you thicken the sauce with a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water) instead of flour.
  Dinner is done in 20 minutes and it's a one pot meal (unless you serve it with a starch as we did), so clean up is a breeze.

Here's all you need:
salt, pepper, onion, garlic, mushrooms, 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, 2 roasted red peppers, flour and water (not pictured)
In a large skillet, I put some butter and some olive oil.

I salted and peppered my chicken chunks,

and then put them in the hot skillet. I put the heat on high and started on the veggies.

I cut up one medium onion into half moons, and then sliced them in half. (You can cut them in any shape you want, but I wanted them to have a presence in the dish.) I also minced up 2 cloves of garlic to add later.

I peeled my homemade roasted red peppers (if you have the jarred kind, you don't need to peel them.)

By now, my chicken is brown on one side, so I flipped the pieces over so the second side can get brown.

When the second side is brown, I take the chicken out of the pan and set it aside in a bowl for later.

In the same skillet, I add the sliced onions and garlic (I probably should have waited on the garlic, so that it wouldn't burn.) I turned the heat down to medium.

I salted them liberally.

Then I went back to my peppers. I cut around the seeds, (again, you don't have to do this step if you are using the jarred roasted red peppers) and threw the seeds away.

Then I sliced the peppers into strips and then cut the strips in half (so they are about the same size as the onions I did earlier). Besides the chicken, these are the stars of the show.

I opened a can of sliced mushrooms and added them to the onions and garlic. (If I had fresh I would have used them, but I didn't. Only canned today, which works just as well.)

When the onions and mushrooms were browned, I sprinkled a heaping tablespoon (probably about 2 even tablespoons) of flour over the top. - If you want to use cornstarch, just mix it in with the water before adding to the hot pan.

After all the flour was mixed in and it cooked for a minute, I added 2 cups of water. (I usually add some Homemade Chicken Stock but I'm trying to be a little frugal, and pinch those pennies.)

Then I added the sliced peppers,

and chicken back to the pan.

I also added the tsp of dry thyme that I forgot to add with the mushrooms earlier. No matter. It will be just fine.

I brought the mixture up to a boil so that it could thicken and then turned off the heat. I served it along side some rice and topped it with some fresh chives from my garden.

Everyone ended up mixing everything together - the rice and the smothered chicken - so serving it on top was a better option for the kids. If you serve it on the side, like I did here, you see the lovely sauce on the plate. :)
Here's the recipe:

Red Pepper Smothered Chicken

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dry thyme
4 oz can of sliced mushrooms
2 roasted red peppers, sliced
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups of water
salt (to taste)
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup chives, chopped for garnish

Put butter and oil into a large skillet and heat on high. Add the chicken pieces in a single layer. Salt and pepper the chicken and let it sit in the pan to brown. When the chicken is brown on both sides, take out the chicken and set aside in a bowl for later. Add the onions to the pan and sweat over medium heat until soft. Add more salt, if desired, and add the mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cook until the onions and mushrooms are brown. Sprinkle over the flour and stir in. When the flour is no longer visible, cook for 1 minute and then add the 2 cups of water, and stir. Add the peppers and the cooked chicken back to the pan and bring the mixture up to a boil. Salt and pepper to taste. If desired, serve over or along side a starch (i.e. rice, potatoes, polenta, etc.) Top with chives.