Chicken Breasts with Cilantro
Makes 4 servings
The fresh cilantro is very important to the flavor of this dish, so don't substitute anything else. Just because cilantro looks very much like flat parsley doesn't mean the taste is the same!
2 tablespoons plus 1 3/4 teaspoons Chef Paul Prudhomme's Poultry Magic®
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground dried pasilla chile peppers
8 chicken breast halves, about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds total
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onions, about 1 small (5 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped green bell peppers, about 1/2 medium
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers, about 1/2 medium
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell peppers, about 1/2 medium
3/4 cup chopped celery, about 1 large or 2 small stalks
2 tablespoons minced fresh serrano chile peppers, optional
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic, about 1 clove
2 1/2 cups chicken stock, in all
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups unpeeled zucchini, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 pound short pasta (rotini, fuselli or gemelli), cooked and drained, about 5 cups
1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, stems removed
how to prepare
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl and mix well to make the seasoning mix.
Sprinkle the chicken evenly with 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of the seasoning mix and rub it in well.
Preheat a heavy 12-inch skillet over high heat until very hot, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the oil, then add the chicken breasts. Cook, in batches if necessary, turning once, until browned on both sides, but not fully cooked through, about 7 minutes per batch. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
To the same skillet add the onions, bell peppers, celery, serrano chile peppers, ginger, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the seasoning mix. Cook, stirring and scraping the pot every 1 or 2 minutes, until the mixture begins to stick, about 5 minutes. Stir in ½ cup stock and cook, stirring and scraping the skillet every 2 minutes, until the stock is almost evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir in another ½ cup of stock and scrape the pot thoroughly. Add the flour and stir until it is completely absorbed. Add the zucchini and the remaining seasoning mix and cook, stirring and scraping every 1 or 2 minutes, until the mixture is reduced in volume and a crust forms on the bottom, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, scrape well, stir in the remaining stock, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Uncover and stir well, add the cooked pasta and the cilantro and stir well again. Return the chicken and the accumulated juices to the pot, re-cover, and cook until the pasta is warmed through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve immediately. Make sure that each serving includes a generous portion of the pasta and sauce.