Jules’ Diner – Chicken with Peppers & Onions

I enjoy the challenge of creating a meal with what I have on hand.  I put this together because I had some bell peppers that were going to spoil if I didn’t do something with them.  What a happy accident this turned out to be.  Tender chicken, savory jus and sweet peppers and onions served with cheddar-pepper grits.  Absolutely delish.

JULES’ CHICKEN WITH PEPPERS & ONIONS

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Olive oil
House seasoning
4 Red bell peppers, julienned
2 Sweet yellow onions, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sugar
2 cups of chicken stock
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 350º.

•  With a meat mallet pound the chicken breasts till slightly flattened. Not going to scaloppini, just a more even chicken breast. Season both sides with house seasoning.

•  Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2-3 tbsp olive oil. Add chicken breasts to pan and sear on both sides, about 4-5 minutes per side, till golden brown. Remove chicken from pan and place in a casserole dish.

•  Add red bell peppers and onions to pan. Add a dab more olive oil if needed. Increase heat from medium to medium-high, sprinkle with sugar and saute’ till completely tender and well caramelized. Don’t walk away from this.

•  When peppers and onions are nicely caramelized remove them from the skillet and spread them evenly over the chicken in the casserole dish.

•  Deglaze the skillet with the chicken stock and lemon juice. Add the butter and lower the heat to medium. Scrape bits off bottom of skillet and let the pan juices reduce for approximately 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

•  Pour the pan jus over the peppers, onions and chicken in the casserole. Bake at 350º for 25-35 minutes or until juice from chicken runs clear.

JULES’ CHEDDAR PEPPER GRITS

Quick cooking grits
Chicken stock
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Black pepper

•  Prepare the grits according to package directions for the quantity you prefer, but use half water and half chicken stock rather than all water.

•  When grits are cooked and still very hot, sprinkle in the grated sharp cheddar. Stir till cheese is melted and well combined.

•  Season liberally with black pepper.

Serve the chicken breast over a generous helping of the grits, top with the peppers and onions and pour the jus over all.

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