Lazy Red Wine Poached Chicken

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I’ve been quite the traveling girl lately.

First, it was off for a weeklong vacation to tropical Aruba, where literally everything was perfect. The water, the people, the sunshine, it was impossible not to be in a good mood on this happy island.

Days after I returned from paradise, I was unpacking the bikinis and shorts from my roller bag and repacking it with sweaters and layers for frigid Pittsburgh. The day job called and I was off to cover a conference, yet all I could think of amid the -5 degree weather was the pristine beaches of Aruba.

Take me back ...

Take me back …

Part of my preparation for a lengthier trip (longer than a weekend lets say) is making sure to cook up anything in my refrigerator that could go bad while I’m away. And oddly enough, this seems to also be a time when I come up with some pretty cool recipes.

Two days before leaving for Aruba, I looked in my refrigerator and had two chicken breasts, leftover Gruyère and a bunch of grape tomatoes. On the kitchen counter I found a partial bottle of dry red wine (shocking that this is leftover!) and about a cup of dry brown rice pasta.

I had just walked in from a workout and was starving for something delicious but still healthy. Heck, I had to be on a beach in 2 days. I wanted something simple, yet satisfying and flavorful.

And what I ended up with exceeded by weeknight quick meal expectations by far!

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The “lazy” part of the recipe title comes from the fact that you are not actually really poaching, by definition. For poaching you really need to have the poaching liquid cover the chicken by about a half-inch or an inch and in this case you are more or less surrounding the chicken with wine.

Nonetheless, the result is tender, flavor packed chicken in a rich, hearty sauce. And adding another layer of taste to the dish is the grated Gruyère, with its unique salty and nutty flavor. Perfect for a quick weeknight dinner of if you are planning a getaway.

~*~Lazy Red Wine Poached Chicken ~*~

Ingredients:

2 boneless chicken breasts, split in half lengthwise

1 small onion, sliced in half and then sliced thinly

¾ cup grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup dry red wine

red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

garlic powder

Italian seasoning

brown rice pasta, cooked (I use Trader Joe’s)

Gruyère cheese, grated

Preparation:

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, sauté onions in the olive oil for five minutes. Add in grape tomatoes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Cook for another 5 minutes.

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Turn the heat up to medium/high and add in ¼ cup of the dry red wine, making sure to stir the bits up off the bottom of the pan (if a nonstick pan make sure to use silicone utensils so you don’t ruin the finish!).  Let the wine reduce, about 2 minutes or so, and then turn the heat back to medium.

Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken breasts. Push the tomato and onion mixture to the edge of the pan and add the chicken breasts to the middle to cook. Pour in the remaining ½ cup of dry red wine, which should surround the chicken as it cooks.

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Turn the chicken after about 3 minutes and continue cooking until brown, another 2 or 3 minutes. Spoon the tomato and onion mixture over the chicken breasts and let sit in the pan for another 3 minutes on simmer.  Serve up over cooked brown rice pasta and top with freshly grated Gruyère cheese.

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