Thursday, November 4, 2010

SPOONIES! Quick Chick In A Pan


(chicken and vegetables in one pan)

So, I am no chef, not even by a stretch, but my husband seems to really enjoy my cooking and others who have partaken mention their pleasure as well.  I find it really difficult these days to actually cook a good, healthy, super tasty meal because it just takes so much time!  By the time you prep and then clean up, cook and do pre-clean up (for those of you who know me you know I am a freak with the whole clean ridiculous!), eat and then do total clean up it's pushing the 2 hour mark and I just can't have that - not now - not ever again, well maybe but not now! 

I know there are others out there who would like to eat well, and feel good about what they are giving their family, but just can't find all of that time, and focus, for kitchen duty.  I am going to try to post some simple, some-what quick meals that I make for us along the way that you can try out and see how it fares at your house.  Again - NO CHEF - but I do enjoy cooking, and try to do it healthfully and thoughtfully.  I hope these help you in any way.  Please let me know what you think.  Thanks!

PEACE - LOVE & I bought a llama !!!


I made this dish on the fly tonight.  I just went grocery shopping on Sunday where I got some fresh zucchini (I really want to try out a farmer's market but I think I have some syndrome or phobia about!) and I wanted Buggie to try it. 
Side Note: She is not doing quite so hot in the vegetable department.  She loves them but still in their super mush version.  I have been trying a few freshie's and she won't have it.  I find bits of slippery squash on the top of our water bottles or pieces of carrot stuck to her shirt.  I am super thankful that despite their goopy form she loves them so I will definitely take what I can get.


3-4    Chicken Breasts (medium size is best, nothing too thick - you can halve the chicken if it's thicker)
2        Large Zucchini, Sliced (not too thin, not too thick)
1        Can Diced Tomatoes, Drained (your fave)
1        Small Onion Chopped (I like small for this but you can chop them to your taste)
3        Cloves of Garlic (or less if you like), Pressed or finely chopped
2-3 TB  Olive Oil (your preference-eyeball it)
Seasonings of Your Choice (I simply used some ground rock salt and crushed red pepper)

You will need to choose a side dish if you would like to add one.  I had utilized a 20 minute window earlier in the afternoon where I was only doing 3 things at once and one of those was cooking whole grain Rotini.  That makes it much easier on me at dinner time - premade side dish, check!

Ok, so, super simple:

  1. Add 2-3 TB of olive oil to a good size fry or sautee' pan (one that has a lid) and heat on medium.
  2. Prepare/Season your chicken breast and place in heated pan.  You can also add the fresh garlic at this point either just before the chicken or with it, totally your choice.  I like to add it just a minute or 2 before the chicken.  Sear about 7 minutes on each side.  Watch your heat so the chicken doesn't cook too fast making it dry.
  3. At this point be slicing your zucchini and onion if you haven't done so already.  Again, I had pre-chopped the onion so it was one less thing I had to do during the cooking process. 
  4. Once the chicken has seared on each side, turn it back on it's original starting side and pour the drained can of tomatoes over the chicken.  You can do your thing here; use canned or chopped fresh.  I prefer canned because it's much quicker for me...tomatoes are slippery little buggers.  See pic of what I used below.  Also add the onion at this point and stir a little bit.
  5. Place the lid on the pan and turn it to low, or medium-low depending on your heat.  Mine is low but what you're looking for is a good simmer, not a boil and not a mumble, a simmer.  Let it cook about 10 minutes. 
  6. Feel free to do one of the 27 other things on your short list for the evening in that 10 minutes or you could JUST SIT DOWN! ;) You could play with your favorite little person(s).  I like to do Buggie's words with her or just snuggle and we play with her toys.  It's so much fun!!!
  7. Add the sliced zucchini all around the top of the pan in an even layer.  There is a pic below to help visualize this (I am totally visual and would probably not know how to do much of anything if I had not seen it done first...seriously).  Then place the lid back on the pan.  Be sure not to stir the zucchini into the mix.  You are going to steam it right on top of the chicken & tomato sauce using it's own juices to produce the steam (see pic).  The slices that are closest to the chicken will be less crisp but that usually works out well, to have some crisp and a few that are softer.  Steam for 8-10 minutes or until desired doneness.  It will most likely be 10 minutes though, just keep an eye on it.
  8. Heat up your pre-made side dish if necessary, serve and enjoy!!!
Don't these look like happy plates?  They look a little stuffed but we like to eat and it's usually the only time we actually get a meal so I say "bring it on!"


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