Posted: April 25, 2011 | Author: Alyssa | Filed under: Alyssa | 2 Comments »
Have you ever had one of those recipes that sounds simple and delicious, andthen about half way through you realize its actually a giant pain in the ass, and it damn well better be worth it? I found this recipe for chicken with mushrooms and tomatoes, which sounded super good and at first glance is pretty simple. Look again my friends, because some of that stuff doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Like the part where it says you might need to brown the chicken in batches, and then it tells you to put it all back in the skillet with all the other stuff you’ve put in there. Now I’m nowhere near a professional chef, and my spacial skills are pretty suspect, but if I can’t fit all the chicken in the pan by itself, how the hell am I going to fit it in with all the vegetables and sauce?! So as usual, I have taken the basic recipe and changed it to fit my lifestyle choices.
Start by putting about 1 tbsp olive oil into a large pan over medium high heat. Sautee 1 oz pancetta until its brown and crispy (as bacon should be). Remove it from the pan and set it aside. Season 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown on both sides. I did this in three batches because thats what my pan would fit. I also like to spread out my chicken thighs so they cook faster. yes I know that sounds super dirty, but get your damn heads out of the gutter…
Set aside the chicken and add another Tbsp olive oil to the pan. Quarter about 10 oz ( one container) of mushrooms and add them to the pan. I used white mushrooms because thats what I had, but I feel like any sturdy mushrooms would do it. When I threw in the mushrooms, they absorbed the liquid so fast I couldn’t believe it, so I ended up throwing in about a Tbsp of unsalted butter as well. Brown the mushrooms until they are done then add 1 medium diced onion and three diced garlic cloves. At this point I also threw in two sliced leeks because I had them and felt like putting them in, wanna fight about it? Once everything is pretty well cooked, open a small can of whole plum tomatoes and crush each tomato with your hands and put them in the pan. BE CAREFUL I almost took a freaking eye out with one of those bad boys, you might want to pierce it before you squeeze because the pirate look is not really in this season. I also like to leave out the tough top part of the tomato, but thats just my own weird hand up. So once the tomatoes are added cook them for a few minutes. The recipe says cook them until they are brick red, but that seems like a weird indicator to me, so I just cooked them for about 5 minutes. Then add the liquid from the tomatoes, throw the pancetta back in and bring it to a simmer. This is where the recipe stopped making sense to me so I went rogue. Pour and juice from the chicken into the sauce and put the chicken into a casserole dish (roasting pan, whatever you have). Simmer the sauce for a few minutes and then pour it over the chicken. Bake it at 400 for 20-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Take it out of the oven and remove the chicken. Add some shredded parmesan and mix the sauce until the cheese is melted. The pan I used was metal so I just threw it on a burner for a minute until the cheese was fully incorporated. Plate the chicken and top it with the sauce. Luckily, for all the pain in the ass-ness, this was super yummy and comfort foody. I just ate it as it tonight, but I think tomorrow I’m going to have it over parmesan and pepper spaghetti squash.
I am not posting a picture of this one because it looked like a giant mess, but once again I assure you it was very delicious.
Crazy things happening in life right now, so I will be relying heavily on my kitchen therapy for the next couple weeks. Get ready for some interesting kitchen shenanigans.