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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

For Whom the (Bell) Pepper Tolls

I am not a huge fan of green bell peppers but I absolutely love the other colors -- red, yellow, and orange.  They're sweet and crunchy and are so good that I often forget that I'm eating a vegetable.  No small praise for a bell pepper.

Recently I bought my first copy of Fine Cooking Magazine.  I don't know how I had missed it, but now I've become a big fan.  They always have great recipes with beautiful food porn (photographs).   What more could a girl want?

In this month's issue, there's a whole article dedicated to new ways to cook chicken breasts.  We've talked about chicken breasts before and I think that we are all agreed that new recipes are always a welcome addition.  So, imagine my glee when I saw a recipe for chicken cutlets with a bell pepper ragout.  Okay, so maybe glee was an overstatement but I was happy to see the recipe.

Tonight for dinner I made the chicken with bell pepper ragout and it was a winner.  First of all, it was light, which is nice in the summer especially if you're not barbecuing.  Second, it was easy, which is nice any time of the year.  And third, it was incredibly flavorful, taking advantage of the sweet peppers that have started to pop up at local farmer's markets.  As I said, this recipe was a real winner.  We had dinner on the patio and I knew summer was here!

Recipe:  Chicken Cutlets with Bell Pepper Ragout
(Fine Cooking Magazine, June/July, 2011)


1 1/4 lbs. plum tomatoes (6-8) cored, halved lengthwise, and seeded
1 medium red or orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1 small yellow onion, cut into medium dice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon piment d'Espelette, or 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 medium clove garlic, mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves, sliced into cutlets
1 tablespoons small capers


Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler on high.

Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Put the tomatoes cut side up on one side and the peppers and onions on the other side.  Drizzle everything with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle with the piment d'Espelette, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Toss the peppers and onions.  Broil until the tomatoes are collapsed, about 7 minutes.  Flip the tomatoes, toss the peppers and onions, and broil until the tomato skins have large black spots, and the peppers and onions are tender, about 5 minutes more.

Use tongs to pull the skins off the tomatoes.  With a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to a cutting board.  Put the peppers and onions in a large bowl; add the garlic paste.  Chip the tomatoes and add to the bowl with the other vegetables.  Mix well, season to taste with salt and pepper, and keep warm.

Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Put the flour in a shallow pan.  Season the chicken with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; dredge in the flour.  Working in 2 batches, cook the chicken, flipping once, until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Transfer the chicken to serving plated.  Wipe out the pan.  Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and fry the capers over medium-high heat until they pop open, and become crisp, about 2 minutes.  Sprinkle them over the chicken.  Serve with the ragout.

1 comment:

  1. You just found Fine Cooking? How did that happen? You always find all the good stuff! I have culled a lot of great recipes out of it's pages over the years, and this one looks like no exception. Yum!
    Fine Cooking is also the only (decent) food magazine I know that publishes the complete nutritional info for every recipe. I find that really helpful.