First important thing I want to discuss:
Swimming for cardio is a crock. (It’s also a pain in the butt and I don’t like it, but that’s a different issue.) Twelve minutes and I burned a measly 60 calories. Fine, it was only 500 yards (I’m nursing a tender shoulder today) but still. I’m sure I burned more than that just getting into my bathing suit, cap and goggles. Swimming sucks. Yes, it’s a great lung-capacity builder, core strengthener, easy on your joints (except shoulders) blah blah blah. Talk to the hand. Cycling: 60 minutes, 581 calories. Now that’s more like it.
Second item of note:
I might be getting this braised chicken thing down to an art form. Tonight I braised it with red & green bell peppers, onions, and some Pinot Grigio and it was hands-down our favorite combo so far. The sauce perfect, the smells amazing. Yes, the g~d~ smoke alarm went off again as I was browning the chicken but I’m almost used to that by now. I think we’ll make this the next time we have the neighbors over. BYOS style – bring your own skillet – as I can’t fit enough of everything for 7 people in the one that I have. And they’re such easy guests that a request to bring a skillet along won’t phase them in the least.
After the first piece, the peppers & onions, the sauce and the bread, I wasn’t hungry anymore. Sure I would have enjoyed finishing that second one because it just. tasted. soooooo. good, but ~say it with me now~ when we’re not hungry anymore, we stop eating. Better for our bodies, better for the planet. Maybe I’ll have it with some leftover mushroom soup for lunch tomorrow.
I recommend you try making it yourself, it’s pretty easy. Just get everything in order beforehand because the steps move quickly. Plus it gives you an excuse to bring out those adorable, color-banded prep bowls that you love to look at. You have your own adorable, color-banded prep bowls that you love to look at, don’t you??? What, you’re ordering some right this minute? OK, good.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Yes, seriously. Pre-heat the oven. It matters.
Wash, dry and then rub 6-8 chicken legs/thighs with a goodly amount of kosher salt and fresh, coarse-ground pepper. Like Jeff, you may think of it as an almost obscene amount of salt and pepper, but shhhh there’s no need for talk like that here.
Heat a 12″ oven-safe skillet and 1 T vegetable (high heat) oil over medium-high heat to shimmering. Place the chicken pieces in oil, skin side down for 4 minutes, until well-browned. Cover with a screen or lid to keep it from coating you, your stove, your whole kitchen with grease. That’s just nasty. Flip with tongs and brown 3 minutes more. Remove chicken to a clean plate.
Add 1 onion sliced thin and 1 red & 1 green bell pepper sliced thin, stirring for 4 minutes. Add 2 cloves garlic sliced thin. Stir for 30 seconds. Add 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon marjoram or oregano, and 1 Tablespoon flour. Stir for 1 minute. It’s going to start smelling amazing right about now.
Pour in 1 cup Pino Griogio (have the rest of the bottle with dinner) and stir for a minute to get any remaining cooked on food loosened off the skillet walls. Add 3 cups low-salt chicken broth (preferably homemade) and 3 plum tomatoes, deseeded and cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Stir and bring to a boil.
Turn off the heat. Place the chicken pieces in the liquid, skin up. Cover and place in the the oven for 20 minutes. Remove cover and cook additional 20 minutes.
I served it in shallow pasta bowls to keep the sauce and peppers from going everywhere.
Sides: we always eat this with fresh bread but egg noodles or rice would be good too. Anything to soak up that rich, pepper-wine sauce. I toyed with the idea of making some oven-roasted new potatoes but Jeff and I weren’t in the mood to get it ready, so it was a one-pot meal only tonight. It was plenty filling.