My brain is so jammed up with writing as we approach the final weeks before our book deadline that I can barely squeeze any more words out of it. I try to speak, to hold conversations, and partial sentences dribble down my chin. I need a word bib.
But baby, I can still cook. Chopping onions is once again my sweet spot, my zen time, my peace. I don’t have to make anything fancy– I really can’t take the time. But just gathering the ingredients and stepping up to my board at the kitchen counter feels like I am going to my special place, away from all those swirling words and ideas. So while I can’t spend hours creating a glorious multi-faceted meal, I am perfectly happy to make a lovely little dinner out of what we have on hand.
Cajun Chicken Breasts
Cajun spice blend is a available on the spice shelves of most grocery stores)
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, cut in ¼-inch dice
1 cup chopped onion
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tablespoon red vinegar
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 4-ounce chicken breast cutlets, pounded to even ½-inch thickness
1 teaspoon Cajun spice blend
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium high in a large nonstick skillet. Add the garlic, green pepper, onion. And celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook, stirring until the liquid is gone, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are softened and wilted, about 3-4 minute. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
- Season the chicken on both sides with the Cajun blend. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat over medium high. Add the chicken and cook until well browned and firm on the underside, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until an instant read thermometer inserted horizontally in the center of the thickest breast registers 160 degrees, about another 5 minutes. Serve with the vegetable topping.
Makes 4 servings
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 215 calories, 24 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 220 mg sodium