07 January 2011

Chicken in Bell Pepper Sauce

I have been reading The Flavour Thesaurus avidly. That pre-Christmas cooking rut has been well and truly bashed to death by Niki Segnit's amazing, amazing "flavour compendium." It's laid out in an accessible way, the entries are short and mostly very interesting to read, and it's really easy to get into the spirit of things: if Segnit misses out a pairing (for example, the garlic chapter doesn't talk about garlic and bacon), you notice it and start thinking about the possibilities, and perhaps match it up with another flavour that was mentioned in either the garlic or bacon chapters. I'm enjoying reading this book. It's fun.

Anyway - I hope this doesn't sound like an advertisement. It's just a very enthusiastic review of a gratefully-received Christmas present.

So, under "chicken and bell pepper" Segnit claims that with just those two ingredients you can create a fabulous and complex main dish. I had to try it. True enough, the food was pretty wonderful. If you have more time, I would cook the chicken and pepper for longer, because after the half an hour I gave it the pepper chunks were mushy but just about holding their shape.

Also I suggest maybe adding more liquid if you want sauce more than something that resembles chunky salsa - a tiny bit of stock, perhaps, or even fruit juice. Next time I might add some slices of apple to the pan because apple releases juice at an almost terrifying rate. Although the meal takes a while, it is so easy. I recommend below eating it with rice drizzled with soy sauce, though, because the dish does require a bit of extra saltiness.

Chicken in Bell Pepper Sauce

3 chicken breasts
4 red, yellow or orange bell peppers

Deseed the peppers and chop into generous chunks. Put the pepper and chicken into a pan over a medium heat and cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 10 minutes cooking.
The peppers will begin releasing some liquid - when you see this juice, cover the pan with a lid or foil, and keep on a medium-low heat for at least twenty minutes. I imagine you could keep going for forty minutes, but remember to stir every so often so the chicken doesn't stick or burn. Season.

Serve with rice drizzled with soy sauce.

Dinner time!