It’s ironic really that I call this Anniversary chicken, seeing as I was supposed to make it for our anniversary and instead we ordered pizza at nine at night once the kids were in bed. Happy five years hunny! Three weeks later though, I finally got around to making it. On a Monday night. When I had the kids at a nursery rhyme pre-school thing all morning, and classes at the gym that night. What I’m trying to tell you is, this is not a meal to make on a busy night. This is a meal that takes a lot, and I mean a LOT, of prep time, but it’s worth every minute.
So, keep that in mind. This is a dinner that I can promise you will absolutely wow whomever you cook it for, but you will pour your own sweat, and possibly tears, into the creation of it. Make it at least once though, you won’t regret it. Just do it on a Saturday or Sunday when you really want to show someone you love them.
Ok, enough warning you, I’ve probably scared all but one or two of you away now, so on to the recipe for you brave souls.
Note: I made way more sauce then necessary, the amount in the recipe will show quantities half of what you see in the pictures.
First thing we have to do is roast some peppers.
To save yourself some cleanup line a glass baking dish with foil. Seed and half or quarter your peppers. Lay them out in the dish, skin side down, and drizzle with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cover tightly with more foil and roast for 30 minutes. You can do this a day ahead to save some time!
Here’s the peppers out of the oven. Now here’s the key to this whole thing: leave the dish covered for 30 minutes once out of the oven – don’t even take a peek at it. This keeps the moisture and steam on the peppers, and makes the skin just peel off nice and easy. You will really regret it if you don’t do this.
After they’ve sat, covered, for 30 minutes, just flip the peppers over and grab one end of the skin – it will peal right off for you in one piece.
Here’s all the skinned roasted peppers.
Just give them a rough chop and you’re good to go.
Now we have to make a tomato concasse. This just means you’re getting all the seeds out and dicing them up.
Cut your tomatoes this way, east to west, so that the top and bottom is intact.
Pare out the little stem on top.
Now you have to get a little dirty. Push your thumb into where all the seeds are, and then push it forward, and all the seeds will squish out. This is actually a surprisingly fulfilling thing to do.
Here’s your tomato skeleton.
Now just roughly chop them all up and set aside.
Time to dice our onion. Here’s the easiest way to do it: slice off the non-root end and peel off the skin.
Take a small slice out of one of the sides so that it can sit flat on an edge.
Now, make slices from the top to the bottom, about ¼” apart, BUT – do not slice all the way down to the root. You want to stop at least ¼ from the bottom.
Now, flip the onion back onto that flat edge that you made, and start making slices again, ¼” wide, and stopping at least ¼” from the root.
Now the magic happens, make ¼” slices from the front, working to the back. Voila, perfectly diced onion! This is hands down the best thing I have learned since taking cooking seriously. As usual, set aside.
I like the whole mise en place style of cooking, so lets get our white wine, chicken stock, and heavy cream all measured out and ready to go.
Here’s my big cheat – I totally bought the giant tub of pre-diced garlic at costco. As a garlic lover, this saves me endless hours. I’m sure it’s not as good as fresh, but frankly, I don’t care. If you’re doing it yourself though, mince up some garlic and set aside.
Now, there are lots of things you can add in to this dish. Bo loves some prosciutto, either fresh (like today), or sometimes crispy (just put slices on a baking tray and crisp under the broiler). Sautéed mushrooms are another favorite of Bo’s.
Any way, for fresh, I just tore some slices into chunks to place on top at the end.
Ok, now get your chicken breasts and pound out so they’re an even thickness.
Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat some olive oil in a pan until just smoking, then add the chicken breasts. You’re only cooking them for 4 minutes on each side, just until browned, not all the way through. They’ll finish cooking later.
Once they’re browned take them out and put on a plate. This is a horribly blurry picture, there are a few of them coming up. Sorry.
Toss the onion in the now empty pan and sauté until softened.
Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, just until nice and fragrant.
Now pour in the white wine. Use your wooden spoon to scrap up any brown bits that are still stuck to the bottom of the pan from the chicken – that’s all flavour. Cook this at a boil until reduced by half.
Toss in the tomato concasse and peppers.
Mix it up and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes have softened and lost most of their juice.
While my tomatoes were cooking down I looked over to see this. Her great-great-grandpa was a jockey. I think she may have some of that in her.
Ok, now add the chicken stock and, you guessed it, boil until reduced by half.
Last time – add in the cream, slowly, whisking constantly, until fully incorporated. Bring to a rapid simmer and cook until slightly thickened.
My house is smelling so ridiculously good at this moment.
Ok, now we just nestle the chicken pieces into the sauce, cover the pan, reduce the heat, and let the chicken finish cooking for 10 minutes.
Remove the chicken to a plate. It is super tender, so if you’re worried about plating move it carefully (I did not, lol).
You have two options here. You can just serve the sauce as is on the plate, nice and chunky, or you can puree it. My friend Lindy was the first to do this, and since I took her advice I haven’t gone back to chunky. So, if you want, put the hot sauce straight into a blender (be careful here please, it is VERY hot). You could use an immersion blender if you have one too, though I worry about the mess with that.
Here’s the blended sauce.
Now, just pour the sauce onto the bottom of your plate and top with the chicken. Dress it up with some freshly grated parmesan and the prosciutto we tore up earlier.
Right about now I’m wishing we could be eating this again tonight. I promise, it really is worth all the hassle.
Here’s your printable:
Anniversary Chicken (or Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with a Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Puree)
- 2 large red peppers, cut in half and seeded
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- 3 large firm tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 3 - 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
- Flour for dredging
- ¾ cup white wine
- ¾ cup chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, brought to room temperature
- Fresh Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
- Prosciutto, torn into chunks or broiled to a crisp (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 450ºF with a rack in the middle position. Place the cut and seeded peppers into a glass baking dish lined with foil. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Tightly cover the dish with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven and let sit for an additional 30 minutes without removing the foil cover. Remove the skins from the peppers by simply peeling them off with your hands. Roughly chop, and set aside. This can be done a day ahead of time, simply refrigerate the peeled, roasted peppers.
- Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then lightly dredge in flour, shaking to remove the excess.
- Put 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 4 minutes on each side without moving. We are not cooking the chicken through here, merely browning the outside. Remove the chicken to a plate until needed.
- Add your onions to the empty pan and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the white wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon that were left behind from the chicken. Let boil until reduced by half.
- Add your seeded and diced tomatoes, and roasted peppers. Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes have released their juice and the resulting liquid has reduced by half.
- Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, then reduce to a rapid simmer until the liquid is again reduced by half.
- Slowly add the heavy cream to the pan, whisking constantly, until completely incorporated. Bring up to a boil, then reduce to a rapid simmer, until the sauce starts to thicken.
- Nestle the semi-cooked chicken into the sauce, pouring in any juices that may have accumulated on the plate. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to finish cooking the chicken.
- Remove the cooked chicken to a plate and tent with foil to rest and keep warm. You can serve the sauce as is, 'chunky' style, or you can carefully place the hot sauce into a blender and puree it.
- Serve by pouring the sauce onto a plate, topping with chicken, then topping with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and pieces of prosciutto.
Let me know below!