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Chicken Peperonata with Rice + Zucchini Fries

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Why we love it:

Peperonata freezes beautifully if you have leftovers. Freeze just the sauce and use it to top crostini as an hors d’ oeuvre or spoon over pasta. Or, you can nestle the chicken in the sauce and freeze both for later.

Ingredients

  • 1 can Basmati Rice (White)
  • 112 cups Water
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter (divided)
  • 114 pounds Chicken Breast (boneless skinless or with skin on)
  • 12 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 34 pound Zucchini
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (divided)
  • 14 Red Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 3 Bell Pepper (Orange, Yellow or Red)s (we like 2 red and 1 yellow, but up to you!)
  • 2 teaspoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 14 bunch Tarragon (if you aren't making the Nicoise this week, use basil, parsley, or no herbs for garnish)

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 DEGREES
  • 2. RICE

    Bring rice, water and 1 teaspoon of salt to boil over high heat. Once boiling, stir well and reduce to low. Cover tightly and set a timer for 17 minutes. When it’s done, turn off the heat and let the rice sit, covered still, until you’re ready to serve. If you’d like, add a tablespoon of butter on top the rice once your turn the heat off, but cover it up again quickly!

  • 3. CHICKEN

    Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add about half of the butter.

    Pat dry chicken breasts dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place the filets down in large sauté pan and don’t move them. Let cook for about 6 minutes or until browned and crusted a bit.

    Flip over and start cooking on the other side. Cook for about 3 - 4 minutes, then transfer the chicken breasts to a lined baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 14 minutes, but this will depend on the thickness of the chicken breast. Always check for firmness and that its cooked through either by pressing on it, cutting into it, or taking the temperature (remove at 160 -165).

  • 4. ZUCCHINI

    Trim just the stem end off the zucchini. Slice 4 times into thin planks, then 4 more times the other way, into fry shapes. If they’re longer than about 5 inches, cut them in half for shorter fries. Toss on a plate with a pinch of salt and drizzle of olive oil.

    Add the zucchini to the oven on the same plan as the chicken when the chicken has about 5 minutes longer to cook. Spread them out in one layer so they brown on the hot pan.

  • 5. PREP SAUCE

    While the chicken is searing, start slicing.

    Slice the onion into half-moon shape rings that are about ¼” wide (reserve the rest for the mixed grill recipe.)

    Mince garlic cloves.

    Slice peppers, removing the membrane and the seeds - be aware when cutting to use up as much of the edible pepper as possible. The easiest way to cut the pepper is in half, then pull out the seeds and center stem with your hand. Then slice into strips.

  • 6. COOK SAUCE

    When the chicken moves to the oven, return the hot, chickeny pan to medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and add the onions. Sauté for 4 minutes. Then add the peppers and garlic. Add ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often, but cover the pan when not stirring. The peppers should caramelize at the edges and become soft, breaking down a bit.

    Add red wine vinegar and stir. Cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat and toss in 1 tablespoon of butter.

  • 7. SERVING

    Serve chicken (sliced or whole) on each plate, nestled into a bed of rice, and top generously with sauce. Pile zucchini on the side. Garnish with leaves of tarragon.

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Substitutions

  • PALEO - :
    double chicken and veggies, omit rice or serve over cauliflower rice
  • CHICKEN:
    salmon, shrimp, steak, pork loin, or sausages all taste great with this sauce
  • RICE:
    lentils, quinoa, bulgur, couscous
  • TOMATOES:
    some versions include 1 cup or so crushed canned tomatoes to be added to the sauce in the final simmer step. It’s quite nice that way and a little saucier if you’d prefer!
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