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Express Italian Chicken – my personal version of 30 minute meals

011For some reason I have this horror at using any pre-made products when preparing meals.  Maybe cause I feel like I don’t “own” it, you know, it’s not really “mine”.  It’s psychotic and really not very practical.  Luckily I have a loving husband who rolls with my personal insanities, finds them maybe almost endearing, even while annoying as hell.  So a 30 minute meal in my house usually winds up taking two hours.  Cause it’s not right and but wait!  It would only be better if I added this, then simmer another 20 minutes…. but what if I?….

That said.  We have nights in our home just like every other home in the world.  Darn it we’re behind schedule, I didn’t make it to the grocery.  Wait, I got distracted, on the Internet ; )  Is that chicken okay?  I meant to make it Monday, crap what day is it?  Shoot, what’s in the freezer…. Quentin, TAKE THAT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!

Then still, dinner needs to happen.  So this recipe may be totally stolen from my mom.  I’m remembering something about chicken and olives and almonds? maybe?   The only reason I own stewed tomatoes is to make my mom’s hamburger soup.  But they’re available…hmmm…  If I hadn’t said it before, Mommy, you made *me* well, me.  You taught me everything, showed up for everything, loved during everything, grounded me for everything – wait, I’m off track.  What I want you to know forever and always, is that YOU made me happy.  And special and loved and everything I could have wanted for myself.  It’s hard being a mama, and especially a mama who devotes her whole life to her children.  I get that, and I appreciate all of it, and what I really want is… to be a fraction of what you are.  Only better – just kidding – that’s for Amelia, cause that’s what she would say, and she’d think I was not nearly snarky enough in this post. Then we’d all laugh.

So need a quick dinner?  It’s not gourmet, but it tastes good and it’s easy and inexpensive.

Express Italian Chicken

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 tbsp olive oil

kosher salt

fresh ground pepper


14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes

4 tbsp sliced green olives

3 tbsp blanched slivered almonds

Season rinsed and trimmed chicken breasts with kosher salt and pepper, then sprinkle beyond generously with paprika.  Heat olive oil in a saute pan just over medium heat.  Brown on each side about 4 minutes.  Drain juice from tomatoes, then dump can on chicken.  Cover with olives, then fill the tomato can with water and add that to the mixture.  Cover, cook on low – but 1/4 of the way to medium, 7 minutes. Toast almonds in a dry skillet for 2 minutes on medium.

Serve over minute rice prepared with chicken broth and frozen- but steamed in the microwave – haricot verts, or very tiny green beans.  Top chicken with toasted almonds.

Try not to die as you’ve served frozen green beans and minute rice in the same sitting.  Sometimes food is a quick necessity, and this is healthy and flavorful dish.  Vow to do better tomorrow – that last one was a mental note for me : )