Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Chicken and Tomato Supper

I'm not keen on the name of this dish - to me it sounds a little bit ' 70s, a little bit Margot Ledbetter or Hyacinth Bucket - but that's the name it has in my recipe book (The Dairy Book of Home Cookery).

At home I call it 'That chicken, vegetable and tomato thing' and then I'm asked: 'The thing with the breadcrumbs on?' and I say 'Yes, that's the one'.

It's a very quick and easy meal to make, and you can vary the flavours and vegetables. The original recipe used zucchini, but I only add that (chopped and added with the capsicum) if I happen to have some around. Also the original didn't include the 'bed' of vegetables, but I think they make the whole thing taste really good.

Gently fry the onion in some oil, chop up the capsicum and then add that. Cook until quite soft, then push to one side, turn up the heat, add some more oil and put in the diced chicken. Let it sizzle for a while, then turn it over until it's mostly sealed.

I cut the chicken up quite small because then the whole thing can be ready quickly and the chicken is less likely to get dry through over-cooking.

Add a jar of passata, some salt, pepper and a teaspoon of sugar. Also add some herbs like oregano, basil and parsley.

Simmer for 10 mins so that the chicken is cooked through (don't overcook). While this is happening, lightly steam some broccoli (steamed green beans work well too).

Spread the broccoli in a large baking dish and pour the chicken/tomato mixture over it. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and grated cheese and put into a hot oven for 10 minutes to crisp the crumbs and melt the cheese.

Eat on its own with bread, or to make it go further, serve with rice.

2 chicken breast fillets, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 red capsicum, chopped
1 jar passata (around 700 ml)
dried oregano, a couple of tbsp
small handful of fresh basil, or some dried if not available
small handful of fresh parsley if you've got some, otherwise don't bother
salt, pepper, sugar
large head of broccoli, cut into smallish florets
fresh breadcrumbs (approx 1 cup)
grated cheese (approx half a cup)

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