Friday, January 27, 2017

Chicken Pizzaiola

Life is still hectic here.  It seems we are always so busy.  I really hate settling for take out just because days are frenzied.  That's why I'm always looking for quick, easy recipes that taste good.  Chicken Pizzaiola is just that.  It's a great recipe with a few ingredients that anyone can make.  The best part is, it's delicious.


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 TBS olive oil (or canola, vegetable, etc)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can Italian flavored diced tomatoes
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley (or fresh basil)
1/2 lb of spaghetti (or whatever pasta you have)

Cut the boneless chicken breasts in half horizontally to make 4 thin cutlets.

Season the cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper (I used 3 chicken breasts because my Pickiest Eater Ever Son wanted plain chicken so of course I made him plain chicken because I'm a sucker).

Now, put on a big pot of water to boil for the pasta.  Once it comes to a boil, then add a good amount of salt, about a Tablespoon.  Salting the water before will cause it to take longer to come to a boil.  After salting the boiling water, add the pasta and stir frequently to keep it from sticking together.  Cook until al dente (which just means until it is soft but still has a little bite to it.  In other words, cooked but not mushy).  That is usually a minute less than the package tells you to cook it but you be the judge.  Just take a piece out and taste it to see if it's cooked how you like it.  Also make sure you keep the water the pasta was cooked in, you will need it later on.  Don't dump it down the sink!

HINT:  I put a colander inside a big bowl then scoop the pasta out of the pot with a slotted spoon into the colander.  The small bit of water that's on the pasta drains into the bowl underneath and I keep the majority of the pasta water in the pot.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 2 TBS oil.  Once hot, add chicken cutlets, two at a time, to the skillet.  You don't want to over crowd the skillet or else the chicken won't brown properly, it'll just steam (yuck).  Brown the chicken for 5 minutes on the first side, flip then cook for 4 minutes on the other side.

Once the first two are done, remove them to a plate and loosely cover with foil to keep warm while you brown the other two.  Once all the chicken is browned, remove excess oil from the skillet.  You want to leave about a Tablespoon of oil.  Lower the heat to medium-low and add the garlic.  Stir and cook for about 2 minutes.  Don't let it burn!  Make sure the heat is lowered and you keep stirring.  Burnt garlic will ruin the entire dish!

Next, add the diced tomatoes and stir well, scraping the bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Add 1/4 cup of the reserved water the pasta was cooked in.  It is starchy and helps the sauce come together.

Return the chicken cutlets to the skillet and spoon some of the sauce over them.

Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer.  Simmer the chicken for 10 minutes.

Garnish with the fresh parsley.

Serve over spaghetti.

This is a hearty dish that is quick and easy.  Perfect for those busy days when you don't have a lot of time but want a great, home cooked meal.  Enjoy!

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