Three Cheese Chicken in Tomato Sauce

Prepared 4/16/2019

This recipe originally appeared in the "Too Busy to Cook?" section of Bon Appetit in 1995. The recipe was offered by an attorney out of Portland, OR who liked to cook as a way to reduce stress. Cooking and Yoga share the flow quality that comes with bringing a strongly directed focus to something "you do" and not worrying about in your head--"thinking about doing". A sense of calmness and presence. 

The original ingredient list is included--I like to think that I kept the basic integrity of the dish together but I did tweak a lot. I remain in a deeper sense of calm if I keep my cooking close to what I know to be true about using various ingredients. Nothing takes the "joy out of" cooking than following a recipe that you know is not right.

This one is pretty tasty and I would make it again. I imagine that this combo would work well with a lot of different meats.

 

Three-Cheese Chicken Breasts in Tomato Sauce

6 servings

1/4 cup olive oil (I do not measure oil used to sauté)
6 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (I substituted B/S-less thighs)
1/2 large onion chopped (I usually always use purple onions)
2 large garlic cloves chopped
1 TBS dried oregano
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce (I usually use Passata di Pomodoro)
1 14-½ ounce can Italian Stewed Tomatoes (I used Petite Diced regular [its what I had], which they did not make in 1995)
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves

8 ounces of penne (as stated I used fancier pasta), freshly cooked
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Asiago cheese or Romano cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (For The Record: I used an Italian 3 cheese grated blend from #WholeFoodsMarket

Preheat oven to 375°F. BUTTER (not listed in ingredient list--these things drive me crazy) 13x9x2 pan. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Season chicken with SALT and PEPPER. (ingredients not listed) Add chicken to skillet, sauté until outside is white, about 1 minute per side, transfer to plate (it doesn't say this BUT I covered my chicken). Add onion, garlic and oregano to skillet and sauté until onion begins to soften, about 4 minutes. (I ALWAYS add my garlic at the end of a sauté just before the liquid--so that it doesn't burn--just saying--but I'm no attorney when it comes to cooking) Add the tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes w/juice, wine, and bay leaves. (I de-glazed my pan with the wine first as it cooks out the alcohol and develops a richer flavor; I also adjusted the seasoning of my sauce with S&P). Cook the sauce until it thickens; about 8 minutes. He discarded his bay leaves at this point--I kept them in for baking--they add more flavor but you need to remove them before serving. No one wants a mouthful of bay leaf.

Line the prepared dish with pasta. Arrange chicken over. Spoon sauce over, covering chicken and pasta completely. Mix your shredded cheese selections in a small bowl. Sprinkle cheese mix over sauce. Bake until chicken is just cooked through and sauce bubbles, about 20 minutes. I like a little brown cheese so I waited, I was also using thighs which take longer. DON'T FORGET to remove the bay leaves if they are still in there.



 

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Hi! I'm Debbie. Here at Categorically Well-Read I give an extra layer to the reading life. Learn more about me, check out my current category of books, submit your own suggestion, or check out my latest post.