Today’s post will be very straightforward and workman-like, as today I have to finish up a magazine article and my parents are having their annual holiday cocktail for a group of friends, so we will be busy all day! It suits, however, because for all the vibrant color and flavor of the result, this is one of our everyday, workman-like meals.
Pollo entomatado is a go-to easy after-work thing.We love it over here and try to make extra for the following day’s lunch.
While it’s admittedly easier just to throw a couple of chicken breasts into a pan and fry them, with just a little more chopping and sauteing, you can have a dish that is much more flavorful and interesting. The sauce helps stretch the meal, as everyone will want more rice to mix into the sauce (if your family is that way, add a bit more water to the sauce to stretch it!). It makes for nice leftovers too!
This will also give you a nice creole flavor without having to search for some of the harder-to-find herbs.
Pechuga de pollo entomatado (chicken breast in spicy creole tomato sauce)
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ Cup red peppers (yellow or green are fine too!) minced fine
Pinch hot red pepper flakes, optional
8 oz can Spanish-style tomato sauce (or 2 heaping TBS tomato paste)
8-10 pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
1 generous tsp capers, drained indifferently
2 boneless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large skillet at medium high until liquid and fragrant. Add onions, stir to coat, and lower heat to medium. After five minutes, add garlic and peppers and pepper flakes, if desired. Cook an additional 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender, then add tomato sauce, olives and capers and cook at a lively simmer for 10 minutes. If using tomato paste, add water by the tablespoon until it has reached desired liquid consistency. This should be a thick sauce.
Meanwhile, pound the chicken breasts to ½ thickness and cut into strips –against the grain — or cubes, if desired, or left whole. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt.
When the sauce is ready, add the chicken to the skillet. Stir or turn to coat. Bring to a lively simmer, then lower to medium-low, stirring occasionally (cubes or strips) or flipping once or twice (whole breasts). The chicken will cook through in about 8-10 minutes if you are in a hurry, but try to cook it for longer at lower heat and the meat will become more tender. Salt and pepper to taste and serve with Perfect White Rice (see below)
Perfect White Rice (you can halve this recipe if you are not big into carbs)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Cups long-grain white rice (Sello Rojo, Goya or other Latin brand preferred)
4 Cups water
½ tsp salt
Place olive oil in a medium pot (with a tight lid). Begin heating to high while adding the rice. Stir to coat, Add water and salt. Stir once, then bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and allow water to evaporate until it goes below the surface of the rice and there are a couple of holes in the surface. Turn rice over once with a big spoon. Cover and cook on low another ten minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
You May Also Like:
Fish Filets in Spicy Creole Sauce (filte de pescado entomatado)
Authentic Puerto Rican Rice and Beans (with supermarket shortcuts)
Lasagne Latina (this chicken recipe could easily stuff this lasagne)