Quick Chicken Pomodoro

I had the best time at the Mequon store this morning!  The girls in the floral department were working like mad to unpack and display all manner of Christmas decorations.  At first glance I groaned to myself — Christmas already?! — but the closer I got, the more exciting it all became — I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way, but I’m a sucker for the scent of evergreen so I plowed right on in there (not with my cart of course).  I really have to say, Margaret and her buying crew have hit it out of the park this year!  No matter what your holiday decorating style might be, there seems to be a ‘themed tree’ for everyone – and somehow several ornaments found their way into my cart (including a sparkly DamDog lookalike that I love!).  
I did think it was amusing that my little pile of Christmas stuff was sitting on top of six bags of Halloween candy in my cart.

Christmas has nothing to do with this dinner.  But just like the Holidays, it’ll put you in a good mood!  Lots of the ingredients are sale, and the whole dinner will be on your table in about 30 minutes….and to that I say,  winner winner chicken dinner.  :-)

Serves: 4-5
Source:  cookscountry.com

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely diced (Mayan Sweet Onions are on sale this week, 10/26/11 – 11/1/11)
4 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes with juices (28 oz. cans Cento Tomatoes are on sale this week, 10/26/11 – 11/1/11; use the other half can for something else)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil, plus additional sprigs for garnishing if desired (Living Basil is on sale this week, 10/26/11 – 11/1/11)

Freshly cooked pasta of your choice (I used angel hair), or rice, or even wilted fresh spinach would be good here

Grated Parmesan cheese for serving, optional (BelGioioso Cheese Cups are on sale this week, 10/26/11 – 11/1/11)

Pat chicken breasts dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken (undisturbed) for about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown (it may be necessary to do this in batches; you don’t want to crowd your pan).  Remove chicken to a plate.  Repeat with remaining chicken breasts if needed.

Heat remaining oil in skillet and saute diced onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes. Cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes with juices and cream and bring to a boil. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet. Lower heat to a simmer and cover skillet; simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes (depending on size of chicken breasts).

Place hot cooked pasta on a shallow serving platter and top with chicken breasts.  Tent with foil to keep warm.

Continue to simmer sauce, uncovered, until slightly thickened, 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  If using fresh basil, add it to skillet now; season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and pasta.  Garnish platter with fresh basil sprigs if desired.  Serve, passing grated Parmesan at the table if desired.

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | October 26th, 2011