Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chicken Something or Another

Last evening at about 5 I realized I had not given dinner a thought, as in I actually thought it was about 2 in the afternoon and still had plenty of time before the meal. We have been eating seriously late and I truly intended for us to eat nice and early, (for us at least) by 7.

Most of you are probably a little different than I am, but I was raised in a house where we did not eat before dark. It was never an issue in the winter because dark came early, but in the summer months we were THAT family who sat down to eat at 9. TheHub's family, on the other hand, were clock eaters and ate every night between 5:30 and 6. Bless his heart, we compromised and he eats my way unless we go out to eat, and then he gets to call the time.

So, after thinking about it for a while (until about 6:30, but I was reading and didn't want to stop) I realized I had 4 bone-in chicken breasts in the fridge.  I have been grilling nearly everything we eat lately but I don't care to grill breasts unless they are boneless. They don't cook quickly enough to be done well in the 6 minutes boneless breasts take. I surely was not going to turn on the oven, so I was limited to something on the stove top.  Game on! A quick survey of veggies on hand, a little bit of peeling and chopping and I was ready to toss everything in the pot. The result was a cross between a goulash and a stew, except for the fact that I left the breast intact rather than cutting it into bits.

                                            Stovetop Chicken Something or Another

       (Sorry for the quality of the pic.  I plate my food and snap a quick phone shot right before I eat)

4 chicken breasts, skin removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic minced
2 medium yellow onions, sliced
1 large pepper, sliced
4 carrots, peeled and cut into thick coins
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 Rotel can full of water
2 chicken bouillon cubes or envelopes
1 tablespoon fajita seasoning
1 tablespoon paprika (I used 1/2 Hungarian paprika and 1/2 regular paprika
1 teaspoon coriander, wrapped and tied in a square of cheesecloth
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot saute' the chicken breast over medium heat, in the olive oil until it is light brown.  Turn the chicken over and let the other side cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the shallots, garlic and onions and let them wilt. Toss in the other vegetables including the tomatoes add the water chicken bouillon. Add the spices, turn the heat to medium high, cover the pan and let cook until the chicken is tender (about 40 minutes).  Check a couple of times while cooking to make sure there is enough liquid, adding additional water if needed.

I had a phone call right when it finished cooking summoning me to Mom's "for a minute". The heat was turned off and I just left it covered on the stove, and this is why I love enamel covered cast iron. I had to run fix Mom's  Ipad (nothing was wrong with it, she just didn't know how to get to the email app) and see at what all she had done during the day. I actually think she starts getting lonely in the evening and needs to see a friendly face more than she needs help, but it is OK.  I only live about 5 minutes by car from her. So 10 minutes total drive time and about 45 minutes there meant once again we were going to eat right at dark.  Oh well, at least I am consistent.

I decided to serve it in large shallow bowls. I put the chicken breast on one side of the bowl and used a slotted spoon to remove the veggies and placed them beside the chicken.  I put a few pickled okra on top of each mound of vegetables and called it good enough.

Then we ate this incredibly moist and tender chicken.  The seasonings had permeated the chicken and each bite was filled with a very bright spice flavor.  The vegetables were very tasty, but I wish I had thrown in some yellow squash and zucchini the last 10 minutes of cooking time.  It would have added some nice bulk and additional vegetable matter.  I will do it next time for sure, and there will be a next time before too long.

There was about a cup and a half of broth left in the pan which I strained and am saving for a light soup for lunch one day this week.  You know, that nothing wasted thing!

If you want to try something different give this a whirl.  It's tasty, easy and holds well in case you have to go be a familiar face to a lonely friend or parent. Peace!

p.s.  I fell short on my swimming goal this week.  I aimed for 50 laps, but only did 46.  This week I am lowering my goal to 40 because we have a weekend wedding out of town and I will not be here at all Saturday and only bits of Friday and Sunday.


  1. The chicken and vegetables sound very good. What I do sometimes to make the grilling time faster for chicken is to zap it a little in the microwave to start the cooking and finish it on the grill. You get all of the flavors of grilling in about half the time.

    1. I have never done that but will give it a try next time, thanks!

  2. we eat at 5pm every night. Dh starts work at 6 am, so when he gets home he is tired and hungry, so 5pm it is. It upsets our stomach if we eat late now.

    1. I really do like eating earlier because I get the kitchen cleaned before too late, but it just works this way for us.TheHub doesn't get home until a little later and then he walks and I swim, so we really aren't through until about 7:30 anyway.

  3. Like Gill, I cannot eat late at night. I can, but I will pay for it all night in the way of bad sleep. The earlier dinner is, the better, and I may eat half a piece of bread at bedtime so my stomach is not dead empty, but dinner late = disaster for me. I've been known to eat dinner-sized meals any time of the morning, on the other hand, maybe even just after waking up. That said, your dinner looks great!

  4. Grapes, I guess we all have our weird timetables. I have a difficult time eating before about 11 in the morning. There is something about chewing early that really does not sit well with me, however I can down as much coffee as is available.

    1. Ha! That really is unusual. I can chew anytime (I'm laughing at myself, not you.) I also drink plenty of coffee before I can totally pry my eyes open, so we have that much in common!

  5. I'm a clock feeder/eater. I like to have everything done and cleaned up so I can rest. Its that A personality kicking in. Den likes to eat when he is hungry but since he isn't cooking, tough! Well the food is normally tough. LOL