Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Pesto Chicken

Originally, this recipe was baked and used a 'powdered' sauce. Once I went gluten-free, I was saddened to find the pre-packaged sauce contained wheat. So I revised the recipe, cut down the cooking time and made it into a quick, one pan dinner for two.

Serves 2
35 minutes
-large, deep saucepan
Quick and simple

1/2 green bell pepper, sliced thin (1/4th inch thick)
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin (1/4th inch thick)
1 medium white onion, sliced into O's, 1/4th inch thick
1 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally, 1/4th inch thick
1 or 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 c. (approx.) water
1 + 1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 c. uncooked white long grain rice
1 tsp garlic powder*
1 tsp onion powder*
salt and pepper
2-3 tsp. dried sweet basil -OR- 1/2 c. packed fresh basil leaves, chopped.-OR- pre-made GF pesto sauce (My poor basil plant died a month ago, so I had to use dried basil today and it is not near as flavorful. If you have fresh basil, or pre-made pesto sauce, USE THAT!!)
*All McCormick spices are GF

1. Slice up washed (and cored) bell pepper, onion and zucchini. Do not chop further.. leave the slices large! Place aside.
2. Rise off chicken breasts, cut into smallish chunks and place in large, deep sided, saucepan. Cover chicken halfway with around 1 c. water, don't submerge entirely. Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil to water/chicken and heat saucepan over high heat.
3. Cook chicken until outside is no longer pink, around 5 minutes. Water should be at a rapid boil.
4. Add 1/2. c. uncooked rice (or more, if you wish) to boiling chicken-water. Stir and reduce heat to medium-high.
5. Once water has resumed boiling, add all vegetables (bell pepper, onion, zucchini) over the top of the chicken and rice. DO NOT STIR, yet. Sprinkle liberally with garlic powder, onion powder. Season further with a bit of salt and pepper.
6. Let the veggies sit over the chicken-rice, while water boils, for 10 minutes.
7. Once veggies appear slightly steamed (tender), stir carefully with rice and chicken. Add a little more water at this point if your rice needs it. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes.
8. Once rice is cooked and veggies are tender, add a generous amount of basil and another 1 tbsp. olive oil. Stir while over heat for another 3-5 minutes until dish is no longer runny.
9. Remove from heat and serve hot.

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