For me food doesn't have to be fancy or require an extensive list of ingredients or dozens of steps and a complicated presentation to be romantic. No, simple, good tasting food is always the most romantic to me, such as chicken cooked simply in a skillet with a good pan sauce made of shallots, garlic, and wine and a nice glass of wine to sip while cooking. The dish comes together quickly, and the combination of simple fresh ingredients creates a nice flavor palette.
My inspiration came from one of my favorite food bloggers, Ilva, who posted a chicken recipe in 2005 using the same ingredients but in different amounts. Michael loves Italian food (it's that whole thing about being part Italian), and after being together for almost 10 years, I know his tastes pretty well. I loved the ingredients Ilva chose and I knew Michael would too, especially if I increased the amount of garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and thyme. My version came together a little differently, so don't quote me on this being an authentic interpretation of Tuscan cuisine. No, I go to Ilva for that!
Chris at Mele Cotte is hosting a fun event this month that celebrates love in the kitchen, appropriately named Cucina d'amore. To participate we have to make a dish that uses one or more aphrodisiac foods, and in this dish I used garlic and wine. We enjoyed it with a side of orzo with parmesan, pine nuts, and basil (two more aphrodisiacs), a recipe I'll post this week. Check out Chris' round-up this week to help plan your romantic Valentine's Day meal!
Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Shallots, and Thyme
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 shallots (peeled and quartered)
- 4 stems fresh thyme
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into strips 2 inches wide by 4 inches long)
- 6 chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 grinds fresh black pepper
- 1/2 cup white wine ((I didn't really measure this part, just poured until it looked good.))
- Warm the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the quartered shallots, 2 stems of thyme, and the minced garlic. Cook until the shallots are translucent.
- Place the chicken breast pieces in the pan and continue cooking over medium heat, turning after about 5 minutes. The chicken pieces should be browned on one side.
- When the shallots are getting golden brown and a little caramelized around the edges and the chicken is browned on both sides, add the chopped sundried tomatoes and stir them in.
- Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the chicken and add the white wine and the remaining thyme stems. Cook until the wine reduces and thickens a bit, about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.