Anyone who knows me, knows that I absolutely adore Diana Henry's take on cooking - good basic ingredients, not a lot of fussing about, pairing side dishes that create a soul-satisfying meal. It seems to be her trademark. She also seems to be drawn to foods from the cultures that rim the Mediterranean Sea. In that respect, she is my soul sister, I swear to God.
This particular dish is not overly pretty to look at until it is paired with a side of bright green and yellow summer squashes that are sautéed with sweet onions and tossed with fresh basil leaves. The sauces from the squash and the chicken meld perfectly when another small side of linguine fini get swirled and dragged about in them ... a girl and her pasta. What can I say? Suffice it to say, I loved this easy chicken dish.
Chicken thighs are such a good deal these days and when they are prepared in such a simple and clever way they seem the answer to any cook who has had a busy day and just wants to sit down with a glass of wine and a comforting meal. Here's what I did.
Diana Henry's Hot Italian Chicken with Peppers
adapted to my kitchen pantry ingredients
Serves 2 - 3 adults
6 boneless and skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and black pepper
flour to dredge
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 large sweet peppers, seeded and de-veined, sliced into thick length-wise wedges
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. good balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried oregano flakes
6 raggedy shavings of prosciutto
Making the Dish:
1. Dredge the clean chicken in flour, salt, and black pepper.
2. Heat an ovenproof pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil. Put the chicken in the hot oil and let it sear until beautifully golden. Turn and sear the other side. It should get a bit of crunch to the flour coating. Remove and set aside on a plate.
3. Add a bit more olive oil and the red pepper wedges and sauté until the edges of the peppers begin to blacken a bit. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and toss around a bit.
4. Add the vinegars, herbs, and dried herb flakes, tossing to distribute.
5. Place the chicken thighs and their juices on top of the peppers. Lay the prosciutto 'ragtags' atop the chicken pieces and place in a 375 degree F oven to finish the dish - about 25 minutes.
6. While the chicken finishes cooking, make your sides - Diana Henry says roasted potatoes goes well with this dish, but me? It's pasta all the way. Crack a bottle of wine and enjoy, however you decide!