Tuscan Chicken with a Roasted Roma Tomato & Red Pepper Cream Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

3 whole boneless chicken breasts each trimmed and cut into thirds (roughly 5 ounces each)

8 T Tuscan Flavored oil, divided (More if needed!)

1 t of your favorite Italian spice blend

½ t paprika

½ t coriander powder

1 T dried parsley

10 Roma tomatoes, quartered and seeds removed

1 large red pepper, cut into large chunks with seeds and pith removed

½ yellow onion cut into large chunks

4 large cloves of garlic halved

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary

3 t finely chopped fresh basil plus about 15 leaves of basil for garnish

¼ C red wine like a Merlot

1/3 C heavy cream

4 T water

3-4 t kosher salt

2 t black pepper

OPTIONAL – Shaved parmesan to serve


METHOD:

  • Preheat oven to 425° F.
  • Cut up chicken, trimming off any sinews or tough areas and put the pieces in a large bowl with the paprika, coriander, salt and pepper, parsley and about 3 T oil. Stir to combine, let sit. You can do this step hours beforehand and place in the fridge covered, but be sure to bring the meat to room temperature before sautéing.
  • Cut the Roma tomatoes in quarters and cut out the seeds. Place in a large bowl with the cut onion, garlic cloves, and red pepper. Toss with 3 T oil. Spread out into a large glass, foil covered baking dish. Top with the rosemary and thyme. Roast at 400 degrees F for 45-55 minutes or until very soft and slightly charred. Remove from oven, discard the herbs, and let sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Dump all cooked vegetables into a blender, including the oil. Add the water and pulse until well blended. Add the wine and pulse again until pureed. Add the basil and pulse lightly to combine. Taste and add salt if needed. Pulse, taste again and continue to season until balanced in flavor. Set aside. (This step can also be performed hours before and chilled. However, you must bring to room temperature BEFORE adding to hot pan!)
  • Bring a large sauté pan to very high heat. Add about 1 – 2 T oil. Add chicken pieces being sure to leave room between pieces so they can brown. When brown on one side, turn and brown on the other side until nearly done but not cooked all the way through. Remove, cover with foil.
  • Turn heat off but while pan is still hot immediately add the tomato pepper cream sauce to pan. It will bubble slightly then settle down. Turn the heat back on to about medium and gently nest in the chicken pieces. Top with pieces of torn basil, and when it begins to bubble and steam and you know chicken is hot, turn off heat and serve.
  • Can serve with rice and asparagus.

NOTE: Can turn into a pasta dish by cutting the chicken into small pieces and then when you combine it with the sauce that is the point where you add about 3 C cooked fettucine noodles, rotini, or other pasta of your choice. Top with parmesan cheese if desired.




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