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So the other night, a week night no less, I attempted this recipe. And, it’s not that it’s crazy involved but it does require a fair bit of cooking time. By the time I finally sat down to eat it was almost 9 pm and that was before the dishes. So, basically what I’m trying to say here is, yes, you could very well make this recipe on a weeknight. However, for a more enjoyable cooking experience, do it on a Saturday or Sunday, turn on some music and enjoy a glass of wine while you’re cooking. That’s the way to do it.

This is a Silver Palate cookbook recipe and it’s definitely delicious. The smell of the onions, garlic and carrots cooking in olive oil (after you’ve already browned your chicken in the same skillet) is pretty divine. Not only that, it incorporate zucchini and squash which I always associate with summer. It’s brightly flavored and perfect for leftovers. I served mine alongside Basmati rice. I jazzed up the rice with half a squeezed lemon, a bunch of grated parsley and one grated garlic clove. Perfect combination.

Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon diced fresh rosemary
  • 1 sweet red pepper, julienned
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 large yellow squash, sliced diagonally
  • 1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 orange, zest of, peeled (I did not have this so left it out)

Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a cast iron skillet (if you have one). Otherwise, a heavy duty pan will work. While the oil is heating pat your chicken breasts dry and coat both sides with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and lightly brown for 5 minutes on the first side. Flip, and brown for another 5 minutes on the other side. Take chicken out of the pan and rest on a plate. You don’t want to fully cook the chicken or even brown it too much as it has much more cooking time ahead.

Add the onions, carrot and garlic to the same pan and cook covered for about 20 minutes on a low burner until the veggies are tender stirring periodically. At this point, things will start smelling pretty good!

Next, add the chicken broth, fresh orange juice, crushed tomatoes, dried rosemary, more salt and pepper to the pan and slowly simmer uncovered for another 10-15 minutes. See, the time’s starting to add up! But, trust me it’s totally worth it in the end.

After 10 – 15 minutes, add the chicken breasts back to the pan (uncovered) and cook for an additional 20-25 minutes until the chicken is nearly done and the sauce reduced a bit. Be sure to baste the chicken periodically with the delicious pan broth and turn the chicken over halfway through the cooking time.

While your chicken is cooking, add the remaining two tablespoons olive oil to another pan and add the red pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes. Next, add in the squash and zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook for an additional five minutes.

Transfer the vegetables to the skillet with the chicken and cook for another five minutes. Baste the vegetables with the sauce and make sure everything is coated evenly. The smells in your kitchen will be pretty amazing right about now. When done, sprinkle with parsley and the orange zest (if using) and dive in! I would suggest serving this with a rice side dish as the two dishes go hand in hand. Bon apetit!

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