Peperonata is an Italian side dish of stewy sweet peppers, onion, and garlic, often flavored with oregano and basil. Here it becomes the base of a speedy weeknight-friendly dinner with the help of a couple jars of roasted red peppers—as opposed to the traditional fresh bell peppers. The swap is beneficial in terms of both timing and flavor: Because the jarred peppers are already cooked, they don’t need nearly as long to become a tender, softened heap, and they add an extra layer of smokiness that the fresh bell peppers don’t provide. By nestling in sliced seared chicken breasts and topping the skillet with Parmesan and basil, you’ll create a full meal that can go straight from the oven to the table. Do seek out whole roasted peppers rather than the presliced strips if you can find them; the latter are usually quite skinny and inclined to melt away in the pan. For a rustic peperonata, you’ll want to cut the peppers into larger pieces yourself.

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Ingredients

4 servings

2

lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

3

Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1

small onion, thinly sliced

5

garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2

16-oz. jars whole roasted red peppers, drained, sliced into 1″-wide strips

2

Tbsp. double-concentrated tomato paste

1

tsp. dried oregano

½

tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

2

Tbsp. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

1

tsp. honey

1

oz. Parmesan, finely grated (about ½ cup)

Torn basil (for serving)

Preparation

  1. Step 1

    Pat 2 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Working in batches if needed, cook chicken until golden brown and just cooked through, 5–7 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate, leaving drippings behind.

    Step 2

    Add remaining 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil to skillet. Cook 1 small onion, thinly sliced, and 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes; season with salt. Add two 16-oz. jars whole roasted red peppers, drained, sliced into 1″-wide strips, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. double-concentrated tomato paste, 1 tsp. dried oregano, and ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes; season with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, until peppers are coated and paste is slightly darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. honey, and ⅓ cup water and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits stuck to bottom of skillet, until peperonata is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

    Step 3

    Heat broiler. Transfer chicken to a cutting board; pour any accumulated juices from plate over peperonata. Slice breasts on a diagonal 2″ thick, then nestle into peperonata. Top with 1 oz. Parmesan, finely grated (about ½ cup). Broil until Parmesan is just melted, about 2 minutes. 

    Step 4

    Top with torn basil before serving.

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