THE RECIPE BOX – Getting bored in the kitchen? Try this chicken recipe

THE RECIPE BOX – Getting bored in the kitchen? Try this chicken recipe

LINCOLN — This week’s recipe is an encore that quickly became a favorite of mine. I thought I’d share it again for those of you who missed it the first time and who are getting bored in your kitchen. You can adapt it to your own ingredients or what you find in the refrigerator!

The COVID-19 experience varies greatly from one family to another. For many of us, some have been and still are in lockdown due to underlying health issues, older age or just plain fear.

I have never said the three words “I don’t know” more in my life.

When will it end? Will we ever be normal ... and quite frankly already I’ve grown very tired of the catch phrase, “Our new normal.” That notion scares the heck out of me and so does seeing us walking around in masks acting like that’s normal. I wear one indoors at public places but you will never see me wearing a mask while driving alone in my car. I cannot wrap my head around a good reason for that.

I preface all of this to point out that there are still so many unknowns and how we as humans do not do well with blind faith. One of the best phrases I’ve come across is by Darwin and he said, “Those who survive are not the strongest or the most intelligent, but the most adaptable to change.” It has caused me to think a lot about my own adaptability – of course adapting to something does not have to mean that you like it.

My husband and our granddaughter were talking outside at the table in our yard about the state of things. She’s bored, as are many children but Jim pointed out to 13-year-old Hailee that she will have quite the story to tell to her grandchildren one day. “What do you mean, Grandpa?” she asked. “Well, you are living through a history unlike any I have ever seen,” he told her. And he is right about that. This moment in time will be defining in so many ways.

And now my thoughts turn back to food and those burning questions. Will there ever be a salad bar again? Is buffet-style dining a thing of the past? And will I be safely able to set a table and let guests serve themselves? Should we stay on our diets — who is going to see us?

In the bigger picture these are small sacrifices and if that’s what it takes to keep people I care about safe, I will certainly do it. But then there’s the silly things. I’m starting to see free antibacterial squirt jugs at cash registers so you can wipe away any germs you many have encountered by touching the card reader. Do you know how many hands have touched that pumper nozzle on top with dirty hands?

What about the people who won’t leave the house but will eat a handful of fresh fruits and veggies without washing them first? Let’s face it, anything you pick up in a market has been handled by many before you including the manufacturing plant or farm, the truckers delivering and the clerk at a register. Should we be wiping down that bottle of iced tea you grab in the cooler at the gas station?

You can surely get crazy with all of this such as how common drive-by birthday parties have become and who would have thought the drive-in would ever make a comeback? I guess the most absurd thing of all to me is how adaptable we really are; now if we could only get to work on faith bigger than ourselves.


Chicken with Peppers, Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts and Black Olives

Recipe from Bob and Ginnie Giacobone, of Lincoln

Ingredients:

4 qts. water

1 lb. chicken tenderloins, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces

1 cup flour

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

3/8 tsp. Kosher salt

1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper

3 tbsp. olive oil

4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken stock, divided

8 pepperoncini, cut into rings

8 oz. roasted red peppers, cut into strips

3 & 1/2 oz. sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil, cut into strips

14 oz. San Marzano tomatoes, coarsely chopped with juice

1 lb. pasta of choice

14 oz. can artichoke hearts in water

3 oz. black olives, coarsely sliced

Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Directions:

1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot.

2. Mix flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

3. Dredge chicken pieces in flour mixture.

4. Heat olive oil in frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic; cook until golden, about 30 seconds.

5. Remove garlic and oil from frying pan; strain. Reserve garlic and return olive oil to pan.

6. Brown flour-coated chicken in oil on both sides on medium high heat, 4-6 minutes.

7. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

8. Deglaze pan with white wine. Reduce heat to medium.

9. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock.

10. Add pepperoncini, roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes.

11. Return chicken and garlic to pan and add San Marzano tomatoes.

12. Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions.

13. Bring chicken and vegetables to a simmer to reduce/thicken liquid. (Add more chicken stock as needed if sauce is too thick).

14. Reduce heat to low. Add olives and artichoke hearts; heat through.

15. Drain the cooked pasta; add to pasta bowl. Toss chicken mixture with pasta. Add crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Serves 4.

This chicken and pasta recipe can be adapted to suit your own taste or what is in your fridge. Try capers, shallots, diced tomatoes, whatever you want to add. And don’t forget to sprinkle some fresh Parmesan cheese all over it.