Friday, August 15, 2014

Tuscan Skillet

It's been a week. Of birthdays, and (wall) painting, and bike rides and triathlons and runs. Of reading and cleaning and cooking. Of last outdoor summer concerts and picnics in pavilions. Chocolate and pasta. Rain and sunshine.

All in all, a great week.

How was your week?

My other question for you today (besides how was your week) is, "do you have a 6th sense about recipes?" Can you read over a recipe and pretty much know it is going to be good and you are going to love it? Or do you try a lot of recipes that end up being duds?

I very rarely make a recipe that I don't love or that doesn't turn out well. Maybe it is because I know what flavor combinations I like, and what flavor combinations are always winners. Sometimes I make a recipe that I feel can be improved upon, but rarely is a recipe a flop.

I think another reason the recipes I try are rarely flops is that I look for simple recipes. If a recipe has more steps than the Spanish Steps, that recipe is probably not going to be made by me. Too many possibilities for error.

Anyways...this recipe that I am sharing today is one of THOSE recipes. The great ones that you know instinctively is going to be a winner. 

The sauce is rich. The dish is healthy. The ingredients combine for an amazing burst of flavor.

Browned chicken. Browned mushrooms. Fire roasted tomatoes. Sun dried tomatoes. Wow!

One key tip, is to not crowd the mushrooms. Yes, that is a movie quote-quoting a cookbook. Do you know which movie/cookbook?

Crowding the mushrooms keeps them from browning. Do at least 3 batches of mushrooms. It takes more time, but the end result is worth it.

Tuscan Skillet
Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 35 minutes, Total time: 50 minutes
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 pounds chicken breast
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
1-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 tsp.oregano
3/4 tsp thyme
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 (15 oz) can Cannelini Beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed
3 (15 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
1-1/2 Tbsp. sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parsley for garnish

-Cut each breast into 2-3 pieces and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1-1/2 Tbsp of olive oil in
a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, then add the chicken and brown for
3 minutes on each side.
-Remove chicken and set aside on a plate. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add
the sliced mushrooms in a single layer and brown, working in batches, a few minutes per side.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
-Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes. Sauté for 2
minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes, spices, beans, and sugar.
-Transfer the chicken back to the pan and spoon some of the sauce and vegetables over top of the
chicken. Cook, covered, on the stove top until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is
bubbling, about ten minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pan. Taste and add salt and pepper as
needed. Serve hot, garnished with parsley.

Btw, the movie reference was Julia and Julie, where Julie quotes Julia Child about the mushrooms.

Have a tremendous weekend!