Friday, September 18, 2009

Baked Spanish Style Chicken and Pasta

Well, what can I say? I love this! I had one of those days when everything you think of making seems predictable, and everything you’d like to make has ingredients you can’t find. When that happens, I wander around the store, waiting for something to jump out at me. This time, I felt like chicken, but not in any of the ways I usually make it, and I felt like pasta. I don’t usually buy chicken breasts, as you already know, I lean towards thighs. Once I had those, I was stumped.

I wandered down to the pasta aisle, past the tinned food, and an idea came to me. I wanted something warm, tasty, filling and different (for me). So I picked up some Spanish style chopped tomatoes, with paprika and peppers, and some pasta, and away I went.

At home I had some courgettes, cherry tomatoes, red and yellow peppers and red onions, so I chopped it all up, tossed it in a baking dish. I browned the chicken, laid the pieces on the veggies, seasoned them and added a little cayenne pepper, and covered it with 2/3 of the tin of Spanish style tomatoes. After baking for 30 minutes, the chicken was beautifully cooked, and the veggies had roasted up nicely. I deboned the chicken, and tossed the whole lot with some cooked pasta, and was I ever impressed!

Without further ado, here’s the recipe!

4 chicken thighs (or whatever pieces you like, and as many as you like, though more will obviously take longer to cook, and require more covering.)
Half a pack of cherry tomatoes
3 courgettes / baby marrows / zucchini
Half a red onion, sliced
2/3 tin of Spanish style tomatoes
Salt, pepper and cayenne pepper
Half a pack of pasta screws, cooked
    1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
    2. Chop the onion, and lay it out on the bottom of a flat ovenproof dish, that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
    3. Chop the courgettes into wheels, or whatever shape tickles your fancy.
    4. Brown the chicken pieces in a hot pan, and place on top of the onion and courgette.
    5. Season the browned chicken pieces and sprinkle with cayenne pepper, rubbing to make sure the chicken is seasoned.
    6. Place cherry tomatoes close to the chicken pieces, to add their flavour.
    7. Cover it all fairly liberally in the Spanish style tomatoes.
    8. Pop it in the oven for 30 minutes.
    9. Put pasta on when you put the chicken in the oven.
    10. When 30 minutes are up, test the chicken by skewering with a sharp knife in the fattest part of the meat. If the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked. If there is any sign of pink, put it back in for a few minutes.
      When the chicken is cooked, you can either eat the pieces whole, on the bone with mash or rice or something. I deboned the chicken, and tossed it back into the sauce with the pasta. I then tossed the whole lot back in the oven under the grill with some grated boerenkaas I was sent my the fine people at Eat In magazine as part of the Eat In Awards, which I will tell you more about shortly.

      I SO hope you enjoy this, the bf and I really did. It wasn’t heavy, was delicious and different! Let me know how it goes!

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