I think I mentioned last week that we had dinner guests…people I did not know until they arrived at our door. The guests consisted of a gentlemen Glenn has been working with for the last few months and his significant other. Here’s how it happened – please humor me as I give you a reenactment of the phone call between me and Glenn less than 48 hours before said dinner 🙂
Glenn: Hey…I was just talking to Mr. P about getting together Thursday night for dinner. What do you think…can we do it?
Me: I don’t see why not…we don’t have anything else going on.
Glenn: Okay, great. What time should I tell them to be over? Is 6:30 good?
Me: Wait! What? We’re not going “out”?
Glenn: Hahaha…no. I invited them to our house…I figured you would want to cook!
Me: I would want to cook? Or you want me to cook?
I’m sure you get the idea…I cooked! Not an easy task when you know nothing about your guests. I inquired as to whether Mr. P followed any dietary restrictions. Glenn’s reply was something along the lines of “I don’t think so”. Hmmph, not much help Glenn! Chicken it would be, with a really big salad just in case, along with crispy oven potatoes, roasted asparagus and bread [again, just in case].
A busy day forced me to “plan ahead” by getting a few things out of they way early. Things like getting the table set and ready, then purchasing a dessert. Buying that dessert was both painful and lifesaving! You know me, I love to bake! But… no time this time…so a beautiful Cassata Cake it was!
I shouldn’t have worried. Dinner and the guests were absolutely lovely. I can now say, we’ve made new friends. Mr. P’s significant other and I were like long lost friends with much in common ~ an outsider would have thought we had known one another for years! I look forward to the next time they are both in our home. So now…on to the cooking…
4 Tablespoons olive oil
3½- 4-pounds chicken pieces [breasts halved]
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced ¼”
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced ¼”
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large yellow bell pepper, thinly julienned
½ large green bell pepper, thinly julienned
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
¼ cup sweet red pepper [I used Jimmy Nardello], finely diced
¼ teaspoon red chile flakes
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups homemade or canned low-sodium chicken broth
One 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, with juices, pureed
3 small sprigs fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
•Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Sprinkle the chicken pieces on both sides with salt and pepper. Working in batches, place the chicken in the pan, skin-side down, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large plate.
•Add another tablespoon of the oil to the pan and heat until almost smoking. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and their liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
•Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the onions and the bell peppers to the pan and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, diced red pepper and red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and cook until almost completely reduced. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, rosemary and thyme; bring to a simmer. Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook until the chicken is tender, about 40 minutes.
•Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon to a large shallow bowl and tent it loosely with foil.
•Raise the heat under the pan to high and cook the liquid, stirring occasionally, until thickened to a sauce consistency, about 15 minutes.
•Season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Optional: sprinkle with shaved Parmesan and chopped fresh basil.
Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay.