Years ago, when I was a new mom, I was in the process of making the big change in my everyday cooking. Sure, I knew how to prepare some good, homemade meals, but at that time, it was also so easy to do the “add a can of condensed creamed soup to whatever….” dinners. In my defense, at the time, I didn’t realize what exactly was in those soup cans and boxes of premade powdery stuff.
One day while my little son Tyler was napping, I was flipping through a cooking magazine and a recipe caught my eye. It was different than what I normally cooked, so I tried it out and really liked it. I’ve since made it many times throughout the past two decades, and recently I’ve updated it quite a bit to suit my health needs and tastes.
It’s also Gluten Free, and Paleo. Yay! 🙂
Before we get into the recipe, I want you to take a look at the Roasted Red Sweet Peppers I used. I just found them a few months back at a little market in Upland that sells goods from all different countries. These peppers are Bulgarian. I know, the label looks Greek, but really, they’re from Bulgaria. They’re super tasty because the peppers are swimming around in the jar with a few cloves of garlic. Yum!
Now back to the recipe: This is one of those dishes where you can pre-cut many of the ingredients, so that when it’s time to cook, your actual time in the kitchen is reduced by quite a bit. You can also cut down time by purchasing pre-sliced olives and mushrooms. I bought both in their whole forms, but that’s because I really like cutting up food. Yeah, I’m weird like that.
Italian Country Chicken
1 (14oz) tin of small whole Artichoke Hearts in water
5 Tbsp. Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, divided
4 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano Leaves (no stems), rinsed & dried
⅔ c. chopped Onions or Green Onions (bottoms only if you’re using green)
1½ lb. organic Chicken Breast meat
Salt & Pepper
1 lb. Quinoa Pasta
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled & minced
1 c. chopped Roasted Red Peppers, drained well
½ c. sliced Black Olives, drained
1 c. sliced baby Portabella Mushrooms
2 tsp. Arrowroot Powder
¼ c. White Wine
Very thin slices or shreds of Parmesan for garnish
Put a covered pot of hot water on the stove, over high heat. (You’ll be needing this for the pasta in a little bit)
Drain artichoke hearts. Cut in half lengthwise. Cut each piece in half lengthwise again, and repeat. (Basically you’re cutting each heart into long eighths). Set aside.
Cut chicken into small, thin strips; set aside.
Heat 2 Tbsp. Meyer lemon olive oil in large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add oregano leaves and fry till crispy. Careful – some of them may pop like popcorn 😉 Once done, remove with a slotted spoon and place on a folded paper towel to soak up remnants of oil.
To the oil that’s still left in skillet, add 2 more Tbsp. Meyer Lemon Olive Oil. Add onions and sauté until nearly clear. Add chicken, turn heat down to medium, and stir occasionally. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When meat is almost white throughout, add garlic.
Add pasta to boiling water. It should be done in about 7 minutes. When it’s done, drain into a colander and put the pasta back into the pot & cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, once chicken is fully cooked, add mushrooms, artichoke hearts, peppers, and olives.
Stir occasionally to heat all the way through. Season again with salt and pepper if needed.
Add last Tbsp. of oil to pan, heat, and add arrowroot powder. Stir well. Add wine. Stir and cook 2 minutes.
Spoon desired amount of pasta into a wide shallow bowl, and top with the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan. Top with fried oregano.
Serves 4… maybe. Actually, it will serve 4 if you have a regular amount of pasta and divide the chicken over the four plates. It will only serve 2 if you are more like my son and I who ate a tiny amount of pasta with a large amount of chicken… and then we had seconds…
So, what do you think? Does this look like something you’d like?
Do you have a recipe you’ve used throughout the years? Tell me about it! I’d love to hear back from you!