Half Vaster - Mar. 06
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RECIPE: Broken Pot Chicken
Boneless breasts with tomatoes, garlic and cheese

I've been making this dish for so long, I don't remember where I got the recipe. It was originally called something creative like "Chicken with Tomatoes and Jack Cheese," but I had to rename it due to an incident that occurred in the early 1990's. Back then I specialized in cooking for single friends of my husband's. One night, his best friend was coming over and I decided to use an old Visions skillet (you know, the amber-colored transparent cookware made by Corning). Dinner was almost ready when I added the vermouth to the pan. I don't know exactly what happened, but that skillet shattered into many, many pieces. Shards of Visions cookware mingled with my chicken in a most unappetizing way. I think we ended up ordering Chinese food.

I like to use the oregano you can find in little jars in the produce section of your grocery store. If you don't have that, dried oregano is fine. Canned, diced tomatoes will also work if fresh ones are out of season. Monterey Jack cheese works well, but use any cheese you like (or happen to have in the refrigerator). This recipe serves 2-3 people.

1-1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
3 Tbsp. flour
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1/2 Tbsp. dry vermouth
1/3 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced

Heat oil in skillet over moderately high heat. Spread the flour onto a dinner plate and dust the chicken breasts on both sides. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes. When it's starting to brown on the bottom, turn it over and cook another 3 minutes or so.

While the chicken is browning, mix together the garlic, tomato, oregano and vinegar. Season each piece of chicken with salt and pepper and top with some of the tomato mixture. Let it cook until the chicken is almost done, about 5 minutes or so.

Add the vermouth to the pan (it will sizzle). Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top of each piece of chicken, cover the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-low. The chicken is ready once the cheese melts. Remove from heat and sprinkle with the fresh parsley.

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Penny Lane Sound Mind & Body