Many of our meals are decided on by ingredients that I need to use up. This one came along because I had peppers and tomatoes that needed to be eaten. We had chicken breasts in the freezer and I had been watching a cooking show, Wall of Chefs, with my eldest the night before which inspired my taste buds. Italy and Tuscany were on my mind and I really wanted roasted veggies! An idea started forming and this was the result. I wasn’t sure how my kids would respond, but both cleared their plates and the youngest kept asking for more, which is ALWAYS a good sign! The chicken was so tender and juicy and kept the tenderness even as leftovers. This dish can have ingredients substituted based on what you have on hand, or to suit your vegetable preferences. The ingredients listed is for a four people, you can lessen or increase depending on how many people you are serving!
4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Bell Pepper
4 Roma Tomatoes
1 small yellow onion
6 cloves of garlic
1/2C Basil sliced into ribbons
1/2 a lemon
1tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2C Chicken broth
Start by prepping your vegetables you want to as a base. I used cauliflower and grape tomatoes. Next, cut the peppers, tomatoes, garlic and onion for the chicken and set aside. Preheat your oven to 400F and place a heavy bottom pan that is oven safe on the stove top at slightly higher than medium heat.
I cut half a head of cauliflower and sprinkled the tomatoes throughout, then drizzled olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast at 400F for about 10-15 min, turning once in between. If you have more dense vegetables, like carrots or sweet potatoes, your cooking time will be a little longer. Other great options are artichokes, asparagus, even brussel sprouts.
While your vegetables are roasting, start cooking the chicken. Your pan should be warmed by now. Pour 1tbsp of olive oil into the pan. Olive oil does not have a high temp point, so be careful that you haven’t set your stove top too high or the oil will smoke. Place the chicken breasts, one at a time into the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Let them cook for a few minutes until a nice sear develops. The chicken should be starting to brown on the side touching the pan, and you will see it change from pink to white on the outer edges. Using tongs, turn your chicken to sear the other side. Once the chicken has been seared on both sides, turn the temperature down a bit to slightly under medium and add your peppers, tomatoes, garlic and onion. Let the vegetables sautee around the chicken and begin to soften for about 5 minutes. Add your warm chicken broth to the pan. Bring the broth up to a simmer. By this time the roasted vegetables should be done and can be removed from the oven. Turn the temperature down to 375F. Squeeze the half a lemon over the chicken and add half of your basil. Cover and place the whole pan carefully in the oven to finish cooking. Leave in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through, reaching an internal temperature of 165F.
I chose to serve this on pasta, but later had it on rice. This chicken goes well with either starch as a base. Once your chicken is fully cooked, remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. I popped my vegetables back in the oven and sauteed some sliced zucchini in olive oil while the chicken sat. The pan will have a delicious chicken broth that can be spooned over the dish. I think the broth was my kids’ favourite part! You can serve this with bread and soak up any remaining broth, or sauce your dish as heavy or as light as you wish.
This dish took a bit of prep work cutting the vegetables, but overall was a very simple dish to prepare with light, fresh flavours that the whole family enjoyed. You could easily prep the vegetables the night before or morning of to save time when you’re ready to cook. If you want to keep it to a one pan meal, you can omit the extra roasted veggies. I hope you enjoy as much as my family did!