With my daughter moving into her first apartment as a college student, I was inspired to create some instructions for a very easy meal of chicken breast with a tomato sauce. As I'll explain it's a good template for creating a range of flavor profiles.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
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Step 1: Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
- 1.5 - 2 lb boneless chicken breast
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tsp. red wine vinegar
Step 2: Step 2: Prepare Ingredients
- Chop the onion. This is fairly self-explanatory, but there's a great video on how to chop an onion like a professional here.
- Mince the garlic. If you've never done this before, the easiest way to remove the outer skin of a garlic clove is by pressing down on the clove with the flat of the knife blade (or anything else you can smash it with).
- Salt and pepper the chicken.
Step 3: Step 3: Cooking
- Heat the olive oil in the pan on medium-high.
- Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Flipping halfway through.
- Add the onion and garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for another two minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients (tomato paste, crushed tomato, and red wine vinegar). N.b. For this recipe there will be enough sauce that you could serve this with rice or pasta. If you don't want to do that, you can add only half the can of crushed tomatoes.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover pan and cook for 9 minutes.
Step 4: Step 4: Options
Here I've plated the chicken with a simple green salad and finished it with some shredded parmesan. As noted in step three, you could serve this with rice or pasta. In addition, you can modify the flavor profile in any number of ways, so you can think of this as a foundation for a variety of meals.
When adding the onions and garlic one might add a variety of spices that would make the meal more reminiscent (though not exactly authentic) of various cuisines--Italian, Greek, Indian, Mexican, etc. Also, when adding the tomatoes one might also add whatever vegetables one has on hand: peppers, broccoli, zucchini, spinach, etc. You'll want to experiment for yourself in terms of your doneness preference. I.e., some of these vegetables don't need to cook for 9 minutes.