Most of the time I go to the grocery store with a list of ingredients and specific meals in mind, but I tend to be sidetracked by spontaneous menu additions that trigger my taste buds as I shop. This next recipe evolved out of just such a trip.
I find a great way to eat well while still saving money is to buy certain ingredients in bulk and then reinvent them by switching up the side and the protein. I had purchased a giant bag of mini bell peppers from Costco the week prior and I was determined to make use of every last one of them before their time was up; the majority of these colorful little peppers went into making salsa and tacos, and Philly Cheesesteaks (get excited, these recipes are coming up next!) but a few of them still remained. It was these mini morsels, the extra chicken filets in my freezer, and a pair of giant portabellas I nabbed while perusing the produce section of my neighborhood Lucky's, that inspired this next dish.
Grilled Chicken and Sautéed Portabellas
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (Adjust to fit your serving size needs)
- rubbed down with garlic powder, sea salt, cracked pepper, oregano (ground and dried), and Herbes de Provence. (You can substitute my favorite secret spice, Johnny’s Seasoning Salt, for the sea salt if you'd like!)
- One large Portabella Mushroom, julienned (aka cut into long, thin strips)
- 2 sweet Mini Bell Peppers, one yellow, one red
- 1-2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 1/2 of one medium Sweet Onion, diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
*Sauté the butter on medium-low with the chopped sweet onion and the garlic. Add the seasoned chicken breasts and increase the heat to high, searing approximately 6-8 minutes on each side, paying close attention to the scents so that it does not burn. Reduce heat to low and cover chicken with a lid allowing it to steam in its own juices and cook through. Check it to ensure it does not become dried out. As soon as the chicken is no longer pink in the thickest part, turn off the heat. If you pay close attention it should be tender, moist, and delicious!
*Move the chicken from the pan and cover to keep warm. In the same pan, sauté the sliced portabella strips in the juices from the chicken for approximately 2 minutes. Add the diced peppers and cook on high for an additional 1-2 minutes, until soft.
I decided to pair the chicken with a parmesan risotto, a side I have replicated many times and typically serve with my Pan-Seared Scallops (another recipe I will soon share!). Risotto can be such a versatile rice dish and with a fabulous creamy texture it mixes well with the sharpness of the parmesan cheese. I also like to mix in fresh arugula leaves (have you noticed yet that this is my favorite type of greens? And I grow it fresh in my garden too!) for an extra bite and splash of color.
- 1 lb box of Risotto or Arborio Rice
- 5 ½ cups of chicken stock
- ½ of a medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 cup fresh arugula leaves
- 1-1 ½ cups parmesan, freshly grated or shaved.
- Salt and Pepper
*Sauté the onions in the olive oil until soft, add the garlic and sauté 1 additional minute. In a separate saucepan, heat the stock until barely boiling then reduce to a simmer. Add the risotto to the onions and the olive oil, and cook on medium-high until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the stock, 2 cups at a time, allowing it to be fully absorbed before adding the next round. Once all the stock is fully absorbed and the rice is tender reduce the heat to low and stir in the arugula, tearing the leaves as you add them. Grate in the Parmesan and stir. Salt and pepper to taste.
*This makes quite a large quantity of risotto, so plan to have plenty of leftovers or to feed several hungry mouths!
To Serve: Spoon the risotto onto a plate, add the chicken and top with the portabellas and peppers. Drizzle the remaining sauce from the pan on top of the chicken. I like to garnish the risotto with a sprinkle of chopped scallions or extra parmesan cheese.
I also like to tie in the arugula from the risotto with a light arugula salad topped with fresh cherry tomatoes, avocado slices, and crumbled feta.