This dinner worked for me on so many levels. I think I have proved that I like to cook, however, cleaning up is another story! Yes, there are times when standing over the sudsy water while finishing a glass of wine smacks of real romanticism, but, when your dishwasher decides to quit on you, the novelty gets old fast.
Which brings me to the primary reason for cooking this particular dish last night. The clean-up was a cinch, and was done while dinner was in the oven. I only used 1 pan, and my rice-cooker, and everything besides that was washed before I sat down to dine.
I also love inventing new ways to cook my favorite meat; chicken. This one presented itself to me by screaming the color GREEN! Everything I took out of the fridge, or grabbed from the garden, was a luscious shade of green. Seeing all of this green stuff made me decide to find more. I discovered a forgotten jar of capers lurking in the pantry, and nabbed some lovely hot peppers hiding in my garden. There was also a very ripe green stripy tomato on the counter-top begging to be used.
So, the theme was green, the meat was chicken, and the dishes minimal. It was wonderful to look at, and having the pleasure of eating it was a little gift from the heavens!
You will need : 1 whole cut-up chicken (about 3 1/2 to 4 lbs, cut into 8 pieces), 2 green peppers, very large dice, 4 or 5 long hot green peppers, left whole, 2 tbs capers, throughly rinsed, 4 big sprigs fresh lemon basil, 2 ripe green tomatoes, quartered, (red are acceptable too), 2 cups water, 1/2 veggie bouillon cube, crumbled, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes, freshly ground black pepper, 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil.
Preheat oven 425*
1 – Prep all veggies and place in bottom of big oven-proof saute pan or roasting dish, along with the crumbled bouillon cube.
2 – Lay chicken on top and add 1 1/2 cups water. Drizzle chicken with the oil and season skin with freshly ground pepper and cayenne pepper flakes. Place in oven for 35 minutes.
*While chicken is in the oven put rice or pasta on and time to have ready when the chicken is cooked. If you are making a salad or wilting some greens, start at the appropriate time.
3 – Take out and turn heat down to 400*. Baste chicken and add another 1/2 cup of water. Place back into oven for 25 minutes.
4 – Take out and remove chicken to a plate and tent with foil. If pan juices look low add more water to pan. Taste for additional salt and pepper.Remove basil stalks and discard.
Serve with rice, pasta or greens – very delish!