A Delish Chicken Dish

Russ obtained this luscious Portuguese-Style Chicken recipe by Pierre Franey from NYTimes Cooking. The list of ingredients that included chicken breasts, bell peppers, tomatoes and saffron struck a positive note with both of us and the fact that it was doable on a working weeknight, elevated it to the top of our “want to try” library.

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The dish has a sauce based on tomatoes and is typical of casseroles found in Portugal. First the peppers, onions and garlic are sautéed in olive oil. Tomatoes and saffron, a spice associated with the Iberian peninsula, are added to the mixture. The chicken is browned first, then slowly cooked. The pan is deglazed with chicken stock and white wine before the other ingredients are combined.

French Chef Franey—hailing from the small Burgundy village of Saint-Vinnemer, Yonne, France—is fondly known to his followers as The New York Times “60-Minute Gourmet” columnist and for his popular cooking shows on public television, with his cuisine and recipes spanning a 60-year career. I have to admit, his name did not ring a bell, but you can be sure he is on our radar now!

This chicken dish was delish—and not only great tasting but a work of art on the plate with all of the wonderful colors. Serve over jasmine rice and your meal is complete!

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups cored seeded sweet red, green and yellow peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron stems or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 1/4 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup fresh or canned chicken broth
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Directions

  1. Heat the oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Add the peppers, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, about 3 minutes or until crisp tender. Then add the tomatoes and saffron. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
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  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet large enough to hold the chicken breasts in one layer. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
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  3. Turn the pieces, reduce the heat and cook about 5 minutes or until done. Do not overcook. Transfer the chicken to a warm platter and keep it warm.
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  4. Add the shallots to the skillet and cook until wilted. Do not brown. Pour in the wine and scrape the bottom with a wooden spatula to dissolve any brown particles that may cling to the bottom of the skillet.
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  5. Reduce the wine almost completely and add the chicken broth. Let this cook until it is almost totally reduced. Add the chicken breasts and any liquid that may have accumulated. Add the pepper and tomato mixture, bring to a simmer and add the parsley. Serve with rice.

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