About an hour ago, I finished watching the movie, Julie & Julia – and I must admit, I’m a little bit intimidated! You see, Julie & Julia is the story of an average blogger (like me), who loves to cook (like me), is still very much a beginner (like me), and decides to take on a year’s worth of recipes by Julia Child in order to find herself in a deeper, more meaningful way.
Now, when I started this blog in December 2008, I didn’t really set out with any specific “goals” such as, attempting every single recipe in a book called “Mastering the Art of the French Cooking,” within the span of one year. I did, however, start this blog with the intention of encouraging myself to try new and challenging recipes, to find unique and uber-fresh ingredients, and to record the many recipes that I try for future use. I have printed almost all of my recipes and put them in a binder, and I refer back to them frequently. So in every way possible, this blog is for me. I do love that some family members and friends read my blog and try my recipes – but that’s not why I keep writing. I keep writing and cooking because it is truly fulfilling – it has become and will remain an inherent part of who I am and what I love.
I highly doubt that I will ever receive phone calls from the Food & Wine editors, or the producers of Food Network, as Julie did at the end of the movie. But, that is okay with me. Whether your kitchen is a private sanctuary or a place for millions to know and enjoy, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are having an absolute blast with just a few things in front of you – fresh ingredients and a hot pan to cook them in.
And with that, here is the latest from my small, yet perfectly functional and enjoyable, kitchen:
Roast Chicken with Balsamic Bell Peppers
salt + pepper
garlic powder + dried oregano
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 large bell peppers, cut into thin strips (3 if they’re small)
1 large shallot, thinly sliced (I omitted)
couple sprigs of fresh rosemary (leaves only, trash the stems)
1 C chicken broth (or 1 C water + 1 cube chicken bouillon)
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Using a meat pounder, pound chicken until 1/2-inch thick. Brush chicken with a bit of olive oil on each side and sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano onto chicken. Heat a large skillet over med-high heat and add a bit of oil. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over and cook for a couple more minutes. Place chicken in a baking dish and bake at 450 for 10 minutes or until cooked through.
3. Add a bit more olive oil to pan, if needed. Add rosemary, peppers and shallots. Sautee 3 minutes. Add broth, scraping pan to loosen brown bits. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is done. Before serving, stir vinegar into broth (add a bit of salt and pepper if you like.) Serve bell pepper sauce over chicken.