Go-To Recipes: One Pot Chicken and Peppers

By Edan Goode:

 

One Pot Chicken and Peppers.

One Pot Chicken and Peppers – delicious the first night and even better the next day.

You may have noticed by now that I don’t like to have to work really hard in the kitchen. I don’t want to do a lot of chopping or take multiple stages for a meal and I really don’t like a lot of cleanup. That’s why this dish is one of my favorites. Better than that, it’s one of my family’s favorites – even the picky eaters who will only eat parts of this meal. There’s a minimum of chopping with this dish, and it all gets thrown in a big pot and then put in the oven.

This dish smells amazing while it cooks. I once had a neighbor yell over the fence into my open window “What are you making? It smells so good!” I gave her some leftovers (which are even better) and this recipe. Add some crusty bread to soak up the juices and this dish is easy enough for a weeknight but impressive enough for company.

One Pot Chicken and Peppers
Serves 6 – with the intention of having leftovers

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs  (I’m a big fan of these because they are equal in size, flavorful and moist)
2-3 potatoes, peeled and cubed (any variety will do)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into wedges
1/2 an onion, cut into fourths
2-3 cloves of garlic
2-3 peppers, red, yellow or orange – not green! – cut into fourths
Approximately 1/4 cup olive oil
1 sprig of rosemary
Salt and Pepper
Juice of half a lemon or lime

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of a large, heavy pot like a Dutch oven. This can also be done in a Pyrex baking dish but having deeper sides makes it easier to turn all of the contents periodically during cooking.

One Pot Chicken and Peppers.

The beauty of One Pot Chicken and Peppers is that all of the ingredients go in one pot, in no particular order. Easy!

Throw all the ingredients in the pot except for the last four. Then sprinkle the salt and pepper over everything and drizzle the olive oil. Using a spatula or stiff spoon, turn it all over a few times to make sure everything is coated with salt and pepper and olive oil. Break apart the rosemary sprig, scattering the soft needles all around.

Please the pot in the oven for 40-45 minutes, taking it out twice to turn everything over for even cooking. You’ll see an increasing amount of liquid building up as the vegetables begin to release their juices, flavoring everything. Yum!

Once the vegetables are tender (but not mush) and the chicken is cooked through, remove the pot from the oven and give a squeeze of lemon juice over everything.

Scoop out one thigh per person with some of each vegetable (skip the garlic cloves for the wee ones) and serve with a slice of crusty bread. Delicious!

The Easiest Spaghetti and Meatballs Ever By Edan Goode

I love spaghetti and meatballs. It makes me feel so Italian to eat it and I’m not Italian. Visions of that cute scene in “Lady and the Tramp” come to mind with the two dogs’ little doggie lips meeting over a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. But the idea of making meatballs, what with the different kinds of meat, bread crumbs, egg, herbs, frying, etc., it just intimidates me.

Recently though, my son asked if I could make spaghetti and meatballs sometime. Visions of the entire process, which I had tried once, came flooding back and I immediately felt weary. But then I thought of a way to simplify things, gave it a go and the whole family raved.

Easiest Spaghetti and Meatballs Ever  

Serves 6

4-5 links of spicy or mild Italian sausage
1-2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce, any variety
1 tsp. dried basil or spoonful of pesto sauce * to taste
1 tsp. dried oregano to taste
Spaghetti or any other pasta shape you like

Step 1: Get a pot of water boiling. Remove the sausage from the casings by squeezing it out of one end, in small globs, about the size of a large marble. Let them fall onto a cutting board. When done, quickly and lightly roll each one into more of an actual round ball shape. If they are feeling too soft, put them in the refrigerator for 10 minutes before rolling.

Step 2: In a large, non-stick skillet, preheated on medium-high, brown the meatballs, turning them only when they release from the pan. They don’t have to be cooked through at this point, just browned.

Step 3: Transfer the meatballs to a pot with high sides that is large enough to hold the sauce. Pour in one jar of sauce and eye-ball it to see if you feel you need to add some or all of another jar. You want the sauce to be thin enough to ladle over the pasta but still meaty with the meatballs. Let the sauce simmer over medium heat while the pasta boils.

Step 4: Taste the sauce to see if the seasonings from the sausage and the jarred sauce have given you the flavor you want. If not, add the seasonings to taste. Also, if you feel it’s just a little too acidic, add 1 tsp. sugar which will round it out nicely.
* When you don’t have basil or just want extra-wonderful basil flavor, a teaspoon of pesto sauce works beautifully, especially since it also has pinon nuts, Parmesan cheese and olive oil built in. It’s a good little trick to remember for sauces and soups.

Step 5: Drain the pasta and ladle sauce and meatballs over it, topping with a few shakes or Parmesan Cheese if desired.

Watch the video to see the making of The Worlds Easiest Spaghetti and Meatballs in action:

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