Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Vinegared chicken with veggies


You'll need:
Covered microwave-safe dish

2 large or 3-4 small chicken breasts
1 bunch broccoli
1 good-sized onion
1 large beefy tomato

1/2 cup white wine vinegar
about 1/4 tsp (two or three shakes) of basil
touch (a shake or two) of cumin
about 1 tsp (several shakes) powdered garlic
about 1/4 tsp (two or three shakes) of oregano

Wash all of the vegetables. Cut most of the stems off of the bunch of broccoli; then cut or break the tufts apart. Slice the onion into rings, then cut the pile of rings in half. Slice the tomato thickly. Wash the chicken breasts. If fresh, cut the chicken into chunks about 1"x1"x2"; if frozen, run the chicken under warm water (or soak it) for a few minutes and cut the chicken as noted as soon as it has thawed enough to do so (within the first few minutes of cooking at the latest).

Spread the chicken out in the microwave-safe baking dish; cover with the vegetables. Sprinkle with suggested spices; tweak to taste. Pour the vinegar over everything in the dish, to moisten. Cover.

Microwave on high for intervals of 3-5 minutes, turning the chicken (and veggies if they poke out of the liquid) and recovering the dish at each interval. Will take at least 20 minutes to cook the chicken thoroughly (until the middle of each piece is white rather than pink). If chicken was frozen, may take closer to 30 minutes. Do not overcook, as the chicken will dry out pretty quickly and get tough - especially if it's sticking out of the liquid.

The broccoli will be soft and thoroughly cooked. The tomato will fall apart in shreds and will resemble well-cooked red pepper. The onion will fall apart and be soft and not too chewy.

Be sure to wash the knife/knives and cutting surfaces with hot soapy water (or in the dishwasher if possible) to avoid contamination. Make sure you don't check the cooking food with any utensils used with the chicken before it was cooked.

This dish, like most of these, can also be cooked in the oven. Use a covered casserole - such as a terra-cotta baker - and cook in an oven preheated to 350. Turn/check items being cooked periodically, though you won't need to as often as in the microwave. Cooking time may be a bit longer than in the microwave.

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