Thursday, January 16, 2014

Herbed Chicken and Tomatoes

It is so nice to be back in the kitchen again! Not only am I enjoying making new dishes, but since The Picky Eater was warned by his doctors that he has to keep an eye on his sodium intake, this is the best way for me to make sure he’s getting tasty, low-sodium meals.

I saw the original recipe for this herbed chicken dish in the coupon section of our Sunday newspaper. It is from the folks at McCormick, whose spices I use all of the time. Of course, I tweaked it a little bit. (That’s what we food writers do, right?) I cut the amount of garlic powder and used a fresh garlic clove instead. The Picky Eater doesn't like strong garlic flavors, so I thought this would be the best way to go. I also used regular diced tomatoes instead of petite diced since that was what I had on hand.

The dish was delicious! Best of all, it got The Picky Eater’s seal of approval. His only suggestion was to use tomato sauce instead of diced tomatoes, since he doesn't care for chunks of cooked tomatoes in dishes. (I told you he was picky! Thank goodness he’s also a sweetheart.)

This will now be a regular dish on our weeknight menu.

Herbed Chicken and Tomatoes

1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons flour, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons half-and-half
8 ounces spaghetti

In a shallow bowl or pie dish, mix together the dried basil leaves and crushed rosemary. Transfer 2 teaspoons to a small dish and set aside. Add the garlic powder and 2 tablespoons of the flour and mix together.

Heat 2 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Dredge the chicken breasts into the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until golden brown on each side. Remove the chicken and place on plate. Cover with foil and set aside.

Set a large pot of water on the stove over high heat so it comes to a boil. Meanwhile, add the remaining oil to the skillet. Saute the onions until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, and then add the remaining flour to the onions and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and remaining seasoning, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low, add the chicken and heat through.

Boil the spaghetti to desired doneness. Drain and divide between 4 serving dishes. Place a piece of chicken on top of the spaghetti. Add the half and half to the remaining tomato mixture and spoon over the chicken. Ready to serve!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year…I hope!


I thought it was time to check in since I haven’t posted anything in quite a while. Life has thrown me a few curve balls this past month that kept me on my toes but out of the kitchen. I didn't even make any of my traditional holiday treats. Hardly seemed like Christmas at all. (This cute flower arrangement was from The Picky Eater for our second wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve.)

My dad is doing okay. He had surgery to remove a tumor and part of his lung the week before Christmas. (Yes, it seems his cancer has spread.) He made it home before Christmas, but he’s still recovering. The family got together on the 29th to celebrate and it was wonderful to spend some time together. (My sister took this photo of our parents in front of a beautiful tree at the University of Missouri Hospital.)

I've also been dealing with my husband’s heart issues this past month. The Picky Eater is going through some tests in preparation for bypass surgery. Right now the doctors are trying to determine just how strong his heart is…four heart attacks have taken a toll on the poor thing. Hopefully we will know more by the end of this month.

I’m having kitchen withdrawal! I have stacks of new cookbooks just waiting for me to explore. Hopefully I’ll have some new posts for you very soon. Cooking has always brought me relaxation and comfort, both of which I could use right now. So stay tuned! (This set of nesting dolls was a gift from my sister-in-law after a trip to Ukraine!)