Monday, April 6, 2009

Elizabeth’s Chicken Extravaganza

This was a fun experimental dish that everyone really loved.

First, I made my own sauce. I seared red onions and garlic in olive oil, then added black pepper, kosher salt, and basil. I lowered the heat and then added a jar of crushed tomatoes. I let this simmer for a few minutes and then turned off the heat.

Then I coated a large baking dish with olive oil and poured in the tomato sauce. I sliced up boneless chicken breasts into long quarters and put them into the sauce.

I was going to make this just like that, covering it with foil and baking for a half hour before adding mozzarella. Then I thought of the spinach I had in my fridge.

My daughter watched with horror as I piled on a pound of fresh spinach leaves. She didn’t believe me when I said I always add a pound when I put it in the rice or pasta – you can’t see it all when it is thrown into a pasta pot, and it shrinks down to one-tenth of the size once it is cooked.

I had to snap a picture of how the spinach looked all piled on top of the chicken and sauce.

This I covered with foil before putting it in to bake at 400 for about a half hour. Then I removed the foil, added a pound of shredded part-skim mozzarella, and put it back in the oven for ten minutes.

Although the kids were skeptical when I served this, once they tasted it they agreed it was delicious! Oh, and they didn’t notice the red onions, which were cut up small and hid well in the red sauce. (Cooked red onions are great as a natural decongestant and we use it almost daily through the winter and allergy seasons.)

I served this with thin spaghetti, tossed with olive oil, salad, and homemade dressing on the side. No mustard sauce for me, thanks; I’ll stick with my Fennel and Flax Seed Vinaigrette.

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