Steph’s note: This recipe comes to you courtesy of my personal friend and fellow Paleo blogger / author, Ciarra Hannah of Popular Paleo. Her new cookbook, The Frugal Paleo Cookbook—all about eating delicious, flavorful Paleo food without breaking the bank—comes out on December 2, 2014!
She’s giving you a sneak peek with this tasty recipe for Tuesday Night Chicken. If you’re down for saving money while eating Paleo, you need this book. Plus, if you pre-order before December 2, you’ll get a free bonus package chock full of awesome info and coupons. Take it away Ciarra!
Truthfully this could be named after any day of the week. It’s so approachable and affordable that you won’t hesitate to make it after a long day at work or just before payday hits. This recipe highlights my favorite way to cook a rich tomato sauce quickly: red chili flakes and cinnamon. It’s how my Italian grandmother fed our family, so naturally I consider it the right way, as any true Italian would. Enjoy using these straightforward ingredients to create a bold and flavorful classic Italian dinner…any night of the week.
Serves 2 to 4
Ingredients for Tuesday Night Chicken
- 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 pound [454 g])
- 1 tsp (5 g) House Seasoning Blend (see below)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup (150 g) diced white or yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 batch Italian Seasoning Blend (see below)
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 (14.5 oz [411 g]) can fire-roasted tomatoes
- Fresh basil and/or flat-leaf parsley for garnish
For the House Seasoning Blend
For the Italian Seasoning Blend
Directions for Tuesday Night Chicken
Prepare the chicken breasts first by filleting lengthwise to make 2 thick breasts into 4 thinner ones. Dust both sides with the House Seasoning Blend.
Heat a high-sided skillet over medium-high heat and add a little bit of olive oil to the pan—enough to just coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, lay the seasoned chicken breasts in to sear. Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan as overcrowding leads to steaming, not browning. When the chicken has been seared (note, not fully cooked) on both sides, transfer it to a plate and set aside.
Reduce the temperature to medium and replenish the pan with a little more olive oil if it looks dry. Add the onion, garlic, Italian Seasoning Blend, kosher salt and cinnamon and cook, stirring often. If you are not accustomed to building sauces this way, I know it may appear a bit strange, but trust me on this. Applying heat and oil to the dried herbs prior to immersing in liquid revives the oils and creates a deeper flavor. It’s the trick to crafting a rich tomato sauce in such a short amount of time.
Cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic and herbs fragrant. Pour in the fire-roasted tomatoes and mix together. When the sauce bubbles, add the par-cooked chicken back to the pan, nestle it into the spiced-tomato-goodness, cover and reduce the temperature to a simmer.
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes while chopping the fresh garnishes—use either or both basil or flat-leaf parsley. This final simmer also allows plenty of time to whip up a quick vegetable side like an easy salad, sautéed dark leafy greens or Pan-Roasted Cauliflower & Zucchini, which is available on page 157 of the book or here on www.PopularPaleo.com.
I like to serve this directly from the pan after scattering with the vibrant green fresh herbs.
Love this recipe? Pre-order The Frugal Paleo Cookbook here!