Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Colourful and tasty: Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Peppers
I think we all wanted to eat something colourful and healthy to brighten up these grim, dull, wet Summer days. It's laughable that it is nearly July and I have been considering whether or not to cook beef casserole. I really hoped that this year would be different, and that it would be meals al fresco, something light, healthy and satisfying in good weather, but the weather in Britain never fails to disappoint.
But I must persevere, not least because I am on a fridge/freezer/store cupboard emptying mission before I go find myself some proper weather and this recipe fitted the bill. In truth, I was looking for a totally different recipe when I happened across this one during a recent internet surf. It was definitely tasty, fresh, healthy and satisfying...and colourful. It's nice when a meal on a plate almost paints a picture for you, and this one does.
A couple of comments. For reasons that are too dull to elaborate upon I served this over pasta, which wasn't necessarily a mistake, but I do think that some mashed potato would be delicious. If I were to do the pasta route again, much favoured by Lola and Finn, then I would use orzo pasta because I am convinced it would carry the sauce better, or some steamed rice would be good if you are on a health kick (which I really should be...) Secondly, I do think you need to have quite a flavourful chicken stock for this to work. Using a stock cube or two is not a crime.
So enjoy! Maybe if we all eat this then the weather will sort itself out!? Yeh, right.
Roasted Chicken with Balsamic Peppers, adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
Serves Lola, Finn, Mum and Dad
Ingredients (using American cups)
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
3 - 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup thinly sliced yellow/orange bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 1 large)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 450°c
Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt, fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and oregano. (I did this in a pestle and mortar)
Brush the chicken breasts with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and then sprinkle spice rub over the chicken.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan.
Add chicken and cook until browned. Turn chicken over and cook for another couple of minutes or so to colour..
Place the chicken breasts in a greased baking dish. Bake at 450°c for 10 minutes or until done. Check by piercing with a knife. Allow to rest.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, shallots, and rosemary and sauté for 3 minutes or so until the peppers are beginning to soften a little and the shallots are becoming translucent.
Stir in the chicken stock, scraping pan to loosen any browned bits. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or so, then increase heat to medium-high and stir in the balsamic vinegar.
Now, taste for seasoning and add 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper if necessary, or more if you prefer. Cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Serve the bell pepper mixture over chicken.