This is my own entry for Real Food… Real Quick (or real fast..I keep changing it..sorry!)
I did a complete meal, including two sides and bread, in 40 minutes. I think it would have taken less time but I was taking pictures as well. One of the most important things about real food..real fast is that you have to have a plan. You can’t take precious time deciding what you feel like cooking..you have to know.
Chicken breast cooks fast. One thing I like to do is to cut it in half horizontally to make thinner pieces. It is easy, makes the chicken go farther, and helps it to cook quicker.
This chicken has sort of an Indian flavor but sort of a Caribbean flavor, too. It is fresh and tangy with a spicy touch that takes it out of the ordinary. One way you are going to save time is to begin cooking the chicken before you sauce it. So step one is to prepare your chicken, salt and pepper it, drizzle a bit of olive oil on it, and put it in a casserole dish and pop it in a 375F oven. For this recipe I used 6 thick, boneless chicken breasts and sliced them to make 12.
Now…The sauce. Add a little olive oil to a pan.
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1-2 serrano peppers, seeded and chopped, more if you want more heat or use spicier peppers
- 1 large bell pepper or 3 or 4 small sweet peppers, chopped
- 1/2 bunch of fresh mint, chopped
- 1 cup of organic chicken broth
- juice of 1 lemon, plus grated zest
- Juice of 1 lime, plus grated zest
- Juice of 1 clementine plus grated zest
- 2-3 Tbs honey
- 2 -3 Tbs prepared Masala paste (organic preferred.)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbs organic cornstarch (non-GMO)
- Saute the onion and peppers until the onion begins to be transparent, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and stir for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the chicken broth, the citrus, citrus zest, mint, honey, and Masala
- Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pour over chicken and continue baking until done, about 15 more minutes.
- Remove chicken from oven, keep warm.
- Pour off the sauce into a pan.
- Whisk in the cornstarch and simmer until thickened.
- Pour over chicken and serve.
Cous cous is a good side when you are in a hurry. It takes less than 5 minutes to make and you can easily do it while the chicken and sauce are baking.
Couscous is simply small grains of semolina flour, like pasta. It is a great substitute for rice and can be totally ready in less than 10 minutes.
For my pilaf I used equal parts of organic chicken broth and couscous. I added 1 cup of frozen organic peas, and chopped red pepper. A few tablespoons of butter finished the dish.
Just bring your chicken broth to a boil, add the rest of your ingredients, cover, and set back off the heat until ready to serve. Just before you serve it fluff the couscous lightly with a fork.
When you are using fresh foods, try to get them in season. The cherry tomato salad was a no brainer and took less than 3 minutes to prepare. I mixed two types of cherry tomatoes with marinated artichokes, Greek olives, Feta cheese, dry bread cubes, mint, salt, pepper, and a drizzle each of olive oil and balsamic. There is just no way to get more flavor than this.
I then added olive bread from the bakery for a complete, fresh, delicious meal.
images: marye audet