Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pretty is as Pretty Does ...

I'm in a chicken state of mind. This is not unusual. I mean look at my bio ... I warned you about my chicken obsession long ago. But rarely, if ever, have I posted back-to-back chicken recipes. Well, there's a first time for everything!

While browsing through the July issue of Bon Appetit on Sunday, I came across a wonderful, quick and easy chicken recipe that had my name written all over it. I made it that night; then last night, I turned the left-overs into some exceptional fajitas. Both dishes were outstanding and neither took more than a half hour to prepare. Bonus!

This recipe is adapted from the Spicy Chicken Peperonata with Lime and Mint Dressing in the July 2009 issue of Bon Appetit.

Chicken Peperonata:
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of one whole fresh lime
  • 1 1/2 tsp. unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • ground coriander
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1 large fresh poblano pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • some chopped fresh mint and wedges of lime for garnish
In a small bowl, combine 3 tbsp. olive oil, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, cayenne pepper, ground coriander and the chopped mint. Whisk well to emulsify adding a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Reserve.

Heat 2 tsp. of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Dust the chicken breasts with a bit of salt, pepper and ground coriander and add to skillet. Sear until browned on one side, about 5 minutes, then turn. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and allow the chicken to cook until done - approximately 5 more minutes, depending on the thickness. When just cooked throughout, remove to an oven-safe plate, cover with foil, reserve and keep warm in the oven (set to "warm" setting").

To the same skillet, add all of the peppers and the onion, adding a bit more olive oil if necessary, and saute over medium-high heat stirring often. Saute the peppers until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes, cover and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved lime dressing to the pan and toss to coat. Remove the chicken from the oven and plate it, topping each breast with a generous serving of the sauted peppers and onions and drizzle each with a bit of the remaining dressing in equal amounts.

As written, this recipe will serve four, though it can easily be doubled. I served the dish with some additional chopped fresh mint and wedges of lime for garnish. It was magnificent!

Do yourself a favor and make extra ... then turn them into fajitas. To do so, slice the chicken breast into strips and heat them, along with the peppers and onions, in a large non-stick skillet with a bit of vegetable or chicken stock. I added some crushed red pepper flakes and a bit of ground cumin to mine. Serve with some warm whole wheat tortillas, chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, non-fat sour cream and guacamole for garnish. Outstanding!

Why no picture of the finished dish? Because ... you guessed it ... the pics were ugly! Hit up that recipe link if you want to see a pretty picture of the finished dish. I was too busy chowing down to mess around with the food styling!

Bon appetit!


Heavenly Housewife said...

I totally love this kind of food. Unfortunately for me, I cant really do these types of tex/mex dishes because a lot of the cool peppers r not available in the UK. Theres no way I could get a fresh adobo pepper here. Do u think it would be good without it ? I dont even know what an adobo pepper tastes like. Is it hot? I would love to try this. I love fajitas (but have only used the mix packets to make them *gasp*).

Lola said...

That looks soooo good!. I'm going to have to get some peppers and try this.

doggybloggy said...

I thought we learned already that what we think is un-pretty isnt to others...

The Duo Dishes said...

That lime/mint dressing sounds like it's off the chains. We need to get up on the magazines and cookbooks for recipes like this.

The Diva on a Diet said...

HH - I used a poblano chile pepper, which is sometimes referred to as a pasilla chile as well. I'm not sure what they'd call it in the UK - because I know they do have different names for things. Anywho, its a long, thin-ish, very dark green pepper and it is sublime. The flavor tends to vary from pepper to pepper - they can be, and often are, mild - yet some are quite hot. Either way they're delicious. If you're in an area with farmer's markets, that could be a source. If not, you could mix in a jalapeno with the bell peppers ... or leave it out. I do think you can make a fine fajita without it - just use a mix of red, yellow and green peppers.

Lola - thank you! Peppers are one of my most favorite foods ... as you can tell, I'm sure. :)

doggybloggy - you're right, I would do well to recall that beauty is in the eye of the beholder! (And a photography course wouldn't hurt either!)

Duo - yes, the lime/mine dressing *was* off the chain! I want to use it on/in everything!!

Btw, the July issue of BA is really, really good. Its the BBQ issue and well worth getting your hands on a copy. Now if only I had a back yard and a grill ...

words...words...words... said...

This looks like a great dish! Except for the mint. I still can't wrap my head around mint in savory dishes. I'm picky.

The Diva on a Diet said...

words words words - you could absolutely substitute some fresh cilantro for the mint if that's your pleasure. I will say that I'm a big fan of mint in savory dishes ... its to the point where I actually crave it now ... but I understand its not everyone's cup of tea! ;)

Heavenly Housewife said...

Thanks for the info diva, will try this, in the worst case, will leave out the poblano. I think you can get them dried here, but I dont think that will fulfill the purpose that you are using it for here :)

Mom said...

Ooo, that does look pretty. I would definitely whip up some chicken and roll it all into tortillas! Yum, yum!

Anonymous said...

It sounds delicious! Peppers are great with chicken and the dressing sounds awesome!

Anonymous said...

yummy! And to think I swore never to eat chicken again after my horrible episode with chicken today.

Astra Libris said...

Mmmm, such a gorgeous dish!! I love all the peppers - your fajita idea is perfection!!

P.S. Hooray for your chicken obsession... :-) I'm always always looking for yummy chicken recipes -thank you for always being a wonderful source of inspiration!

stephchows said...

John doesn't eat red meat so I'm always looking for something new to do with chicken! And if it's quick... BONUS!!! Thanks girl :)

Deb said...

Anything with lots of peppers and chicken has my name written all over it and being able to turn it into a second meal is a bonus especially if they are fajitas - did I say I love fajitas!

Tangled Noodle said...

No pix of the final dish? Not a problem - I can stare at those delicious strips of pepper! I love it when I come across a recipe that I know immediately I must make as soon as possible. Usually, it's snip-and-save until I have enough scraps of magazines to build a giant nest . . .