Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Italian Baked Chicken

Okay, friends - I have another good one for you!!!  Italian Baked Chicken was based on a recipe idea I found on pinterest.  The ingredients were mentioned, but not all the measurements were given.  So I adapted what I saw and made it my own. Here is the link to the original recipe:

I made a few minor changes, some additions, and I specified the measurements that I used.  The great part about a dish like this is that it can be easily adapted for your family and it is very kid friendly.  My family loved it!  even the kids scarfed it down, (I took the toppings off for them which meant more for me).  Don't be afraid to try new things.  The worst that can happen is that you won't ever make it again.  :)  But I promise that this one is a winner!  Enjoy!

Italian Baked Chicken
2 lbs, about 3-4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts seasoned with salt & pepper
4-5 roma tomatoes, largely chopped
1 can of quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 shallot, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
2 T flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup basil, chopped

Spray a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper and place in the dish.  Then mix together the tomatoes, artichokes, shallots, garlic, flour, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Add to the baking dish. 

Here is what it looks like before it goes in the oven - take note of the chunky topping that turns into a marvelous sauce.

Bake at 350 degrees until chicken is 160 degrees in the thickest part of the breast.  Remove from oven, sprinkle each chicken breast with mozzarella cheese and place under the broiler until the cheese is golden and bubbly.  The chicken will finish cooking under the broiler - watch it carefully.  Remove from oven after it reaches 165 (use meat thermometer - I leave mine in there for the entire cooking process.  Lower heat down to 350 if it gets golden brown but not cooked through.), sprinkle with basil, and serve.

Today I served the chicken with farro, (an amazing grain, much like barley, but high in protein and fiber like quinoa.  Its used a lot in Italy and can be found in Italian specialty stores or even in your grocery store), steamed broccoli, and a simple arugula salad dressed with fresh lemon juice & olive oil.

And here's some more info on farro:

Happy cooking!

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