Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Smothered Chicken Breasts


This is for Valerie, in case it sounds like something that would suit for your feast. (I always recommend roast chicken, too, for ease and yumminess, and if you haven't already searched buildabelly for chicken recipes, you can also look for something more to your liking.) Oh, and I've not tried this yet, but I think it sounds good, even better with added bacon!

I'll add a picture next time that I or John makes this dish, but until then, it's an easy dish that John copied from one we'd eaten in a restaurant two years ago. Juicy, skinless, chicken breasts, smothered with buttery, chopped onion; fresh, diced tomatoes; a mix of shredded cheeses; and crunchy, crumbled bacon.

We usually eat it alongside garlic bread or baked potatoes, as well as a big salad and/or this vegetable medley and/or corn.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
one medium onion, chopped
several tablespoons of butter
1 tomato, diced in small pieces
bacon! (more rather than less- perhaps 1/2 pound?)
cheese, shredded, as much as you'd like melted on the chicken, around 1 cup? (We buy cheese blocks at Aldi, and we shred a mixture of several for this dish. Sharp cheddar is a must, and John adds monterey jack and sometimes a bit of mozzerella.)
garlic powder, if desired

Shred desired cheeses and place in a bowl.
Saute chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of butter until translucent. Set aside.
Dice the tomato in quite small pieces and set aside.
Cook bacon slices until crispy, drain off grease, and then crumble into small pieces. Set aside in small bowl.

Grease an ovenproof dish (John uses a glass 13x9 pan) with butter and drizzle on a tablespoon or two of olive oil; lay the chicken pieces on top. Brush chicken with melted butter; sprinkle with salt, pepper (and garlic powder, if desired), to taste, and then cover dish with tin foil. Cook chicken for about 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until chicken is fully cooked but not dry. Spoon onion over the chicken, then spoon on the diced tomato, sprinkle with shredded cheeses, and top with crumbled bacon. Return to oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes.

Especially if this is for a Sunday meal, serve with side dishes that are easily prepared ahead of time. Garlic bread can be spread with butter and seasonings the day before, placed in the fridge, and then broiled right before the meal. A tossed salad is easily prepared ahead of time, as well as dessert. Another quick vegetable accompaniment is corn on the cob, which takes only minutes to cook when boiled in a large pot and makes for an easy and yummy side. Many vegetable side dishes can be made ahead of time and reheated, too, if you just want to enjoy your company instead of scurrying about.

For the chicken, the cheese can be shredded ahead of time (or just use a pre-shredded mix from the store), the onions can be sauteed ahead of time, and the bacon can be cooked and crumbled ahead of time, although the tomato should probably be freshly diced. Simply heat the onions and bacon up in the microwave slightly before sprinkling on the chicken.

A few ideas- you can saute a garlic clove or two in with the chopped onion.
If you want to use sliced mushrooms in addition to (or in place of) the diced tomato, simply saute them with butter for a few minutes after sauteeing the chopped onion and spoon over the onion on the chicken.


Valerie (Kyriosity) said...

Perfect! I'll let you know how it turns out. :-D

Abigail said...

I read through what I'd written to John last night, to see if what I'd written was close enough to what he's done, and he couldn't believe I'd fudged a recipe!

He thought I could have just given a basic list of ingredients, because he just throws things together and lets them stay however they fall. If you prefer, just take the ingredients and do the same. :)

Rebecca said...

I comment here only to remind you (not that you have ever forgotten) how amazingly wonderful it is to have a husband who cooks. Mine cooks by adding milk to cereal. It would be so nice to have a night off every now and again. Pine. Pine. Whine Whine.

No more whining. But enjoy YOUR gift for MY sake! :-)

Abigail said...

I do appreciate John's quirks, and his desire to and talent for cooking is one that I most highly appreciate!

I can always use a reminder to laud him, though. The poor guy puts up with me, after all.

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