So, I’m not big on New Years’ resolutions but I do like to set some goals for myself that are usually reading orientated with a new year. Since I wasn’t able to come up with concrete ones in reading (I have a few vague ideas but I’m still working on them), I decided maybe I should branch out and challenge myself elsewhere. The kitchen seemed an obvious place for me to go.
The running family gag is that I can’t cook. I did have some unfortunate misadventures when I was younger and for awhile there it was just easier to be on kitchen duty than attempt to make a dish of some sort. Then of course I left the comfort of college dining halls and had to fend for myself. So, I learned to cook in a sense. I rarely make something that isn’t edible so I always assumed that was a step in the right direction for me. The idea of cooking is so charming though that I became a recipe collector with more cooking blogs than I could keep up with. Over the years, I’ve learned my talent level better and said goodbye to some of the blogs that just made me hungry while producing gourmet worthy meals that I had no inclination or reason to make. However, the recipe collecting has continued until I think, it may, just be a little out of hand. I have an email folder full along with clippings, print outs and magazine articles overflowing my recipe binder and box. My problem with that is…I’ve made maybe a handful of the recipes I have. So, goal for the year? Make them and decide whether they are keepers or whether I’m never making them again.
I generally make my most complicated meal on Sundays; just the day of the week I have the most time to devote to chopping, cooking, baking, dishes and clean up of the kitchen. It has the bonus that anything I make tends to make me enough leftovers that I don’t need to do more than reheat until Thursday – one of the bonuses to being single and recipes almost always assuming you’re cooking for a family of four. So today I finally got around to starting on this goal. I’ve been set back a few times as grocery shopping where I currently live can be challenging to find what you need sometimes. Other times, I improvise.
My first dish of the year? Chicken Cacciatore from Bread and Putter with a few changes due to grocery availability. Overall, I loved this dish – it tasted delicious and was super easy to make. It also didn’t require hours of chopping things which is always good in my book. I recommend this dish actually for the weeknight. You could get everything chopped beforehand, get it cooking in the skillet and then you have 40 minutes to get things done before it’s ready which I like on a weeknight – makes me get some chores done before I settle in for a night of reading and/or TV watching.
|The final product!
Ingredients: 1 lb. chicken (thighs or breasts I think work fine), 2 medium green bell peppers, 1 package (6 or 8 oz.) button mushrooms and 1 jar of marinara sauce
1) Coat large, deep skillet with cooking spray
2) Chop chicken into cubes and then brown on skillet
3) Add chopped peppers and mushrooms; cook 2-3 minutes on skillet
4) Pour in marinara sauce, cover and let simmer for 40 minutes until chicken is tender
I served the dish with spaghetti but I think it would be just as good over rice.