Rosemary Chicken with Simply Sauteed Snow Peas and Red Peppers

I wish I had a seven layer triple chocolate cake, a batch of sugar cookies, or even a simple vanilla cupcake to share with you, because those are the foods that I’m “feeling” right now. Yesterday was “Match Day” for dietetic internships, the next step toward becoming a Registered Dietitian, and I got matched! And I did celebrate with a slice of triple chocolate cake, but unfortunately, I was not the one who made it, so I can’t extend that celebration to you in the form of a recipe. I can, however, virtually celebrate with you by directing you to past celebratory chocolate cakes, such as this classic chocolate cake with ganache frosting and these two chocolate cakes – one traditional, one gluten-free. Almost.

What I do have for you is a much more “appropriate” recipe to share with you in celebration of my acceptance into a dietetic internship – as in, this dish is the picture of health, and it’s absolutely delicious, too. It’s also free of wheat, barley, oats, or rye, which makes it a prime candidate for anyone getting the Passover Bug – another reason I thought it’d be nice to write about today, as Passover slowly approaches. I make my meal plans at the end of the week so I haven’t decided yet what I’ll be making for dinner over Passover, but meals like this are truly perfect. Eating well on Passover can be challenging. You get so focused on the items you can’t eat, and what you can replace them with, that you lose sight of all of the wonderful things you can still eat. For some reason, for most people, it isn’t about all of the naturally kosher for Passover foods; it’s about cakes and brownies made from matzah cake meal. Suddenly, it becomes perfectly acceptable to eat cake for breakfast for 8 days straight, when the truth is there are so many incredible dishes out there that don’t require any out-of-the-ordinary ingredients. Nevermind that you can still eat quinoa (many people also still eat rice and corn), beans, tofu, salads, eggs, hummus, and nuts. It suddenly becomes all about the wheat, barley, oats, and rye, and the copious amounts of matzah people feel obligated to plague their body with instead. My goal this year is to eat matzah as little as possible, and to focus instead on all of the foods that I love eating throughout the year that I can continue eating over the 8 days of Passover.

This meal – a rosemary-garlic chicken breast paired with simply sautéed snow peas and red peppers – is naturally kosher for Passover. It’s this kind of meal that I gravitate towards. It’s easy, simple yet far from bland, and surprisingly filling. You could throw in a baked potato or quinoa salad if you’re really missing the grains, but I ate it all by itself and was more than satisfied. Of course, you don’t have to be Jewish and celebrating Passover to enjoy this dish – in fact, that’s the whole point! It’s a beautiful meal to serve as Spring starts to bloom around us, whether you’re celebrating a holiday or not.

Rosemary-Garlic Chicken with Sautéed Snow Peas & Red Peppers, adapted from Real Simple and Cooking During Stolen Moments
Yield: 4 servings

The Ingredients
1 pound fresh snow peas
1 large red pepper
6 cloves garlic, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
scant ½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup (no sodium) chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

The Method
Place washed and trimmed snow peas in a small pot and cover (barely) with water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to allow the peas to steam for five minutes. Meanwhile, slice the red pepper into thin strips and mince 4 cloves of garlic; set aside to add to the snow peas when they finish steaming.

Either pound or halve the chicken breasts to make them thinner (but roughly even). Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining two cloves of garlic, minced. When the garlic begins to turn a golden-brown, add the chicken and cook until golden, 3-5 minutes per side.

While the chicken cooks, return to the vegetables: drain the snow peas, rinse them briefly in cold water to halt the cooking process, and return them along with the red peppers, garlic, and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have heated. If they finish before the chicken, simply lower the heat to keep them warm.

Once the chicken has cooked on both sides, add the vinegar, broth, rosemary and freshly ground black pepper. Cover the skillet and lower the heat (medium-low), cooking until the chicken has become fork-tender, approximately 3 more minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. Increase the heat now to high and bring the sauce to a boil until it has thickened into a syrup, 3-5 minutes. Serve poured over the chicken, with the vegetables on the side.

Note: if you think this post looks a little bare, it’s because I left my apartment this morning thinking that I had uploaded my photos from this meal to my laptop, only to discover once on campus that I hadn’t. I promise to update this entry as soon as I get home tonight with pictures!

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