But everything changed last Monday night. I cooked dinner.
It made me realise that cooking is my zen. What yoga is to some, cooking is for me. Not the mad rush kind of cooking in a commercial kitchen, been there, done that and I didn't have thick enough skin. But cooking in my little kitchen and making a meal out of ingredients gives me a certain satisfaction and feeling of fulfillment. Cooking for one doesn't have quite the same feeling as when I'm cooking for two or more so maybe it's not the act of cooking itself but the act of sharing what I've made with the ones I love.
Or maybe that makes no sense at all and I was just so high on a home cooked meal I needed to share this with you all.
I made (The) Best Chicken: Baked Chicken in Creamy Tomato Sauce from Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach. It was so delicious. There was one problem, I only made enough for two and not enough for seconds or leftovers. It was a comforting, home cooked dinner at it's finest. It was simple yet so full of flavour. The canned tomatoes turn delicious and rich in the oven, almost sticky and as the chicken cooks it soaks up the flavour from the sauce and hint of herbs. I adapted the recipe slightly since we didn't have any marscapone as it's not a staple at our kitchen, instead I stirred through a couple of spoonfuls of greek yogurt at the end and it worked just as well. I served it with brown rice cooked with a stock cube and blanched sugar snap peas coated in butter and a good pinch of salt.
It was rich and comforting and a dinner I will repeat again, especially since it's started getting a little cooler here. Store cupboard ingredients, chicken from the freezer and dinner is practically already made, a perfect weeknight meal. This would also work really well served with pasta or to make it a little fancy, serve it with a saffron risotto and a side salad.
I'm now off to do some washing so that it's at least another week before I have that phew! moment again.
(The) Best Chicken: Baked Chicken in Creamy Tomato Saucerecipe adapted from Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach
(find original recipe here)
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
400g canned chopped tomatoes
5 basil leaves, roughly torn (or a pinch of dried oregano)
2 tablespoons marscapone or thick greek yoghurt
salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 175C/350F.
- Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in an oven proof pan or skillet on high heat and brown the chicken on all sides (they do not need to cook through). Remove from the pan and turn heat down to medium-low. In the remaining oil left in the pan cook the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes.
- Add the can of chopped tomatoes and bring to a simmer, stir through basil (or oregano) and season with salt and pepper. If using marscapone, stir through now. Add the chicken back into the pan then place in the preheated oven.
- Bake for 40 minutes, turning half way through or until the chicken is cooked through.
- If you are using greek yogurt, remove the chicken from the pan and stir through the greek yoghurt now. Serve with rice, pasta or some nice crusty bread and some buttered greens.