Third Runner Up - 2017 Recipe Contest
Belli amici! Cooks and chefs! Foodistas! HEY…ohhh…how ya DOIN’?!
Chef Richie here to say this: EVERYTHING IS OPTIONAL. YOU’RE the chef…master of your domain (kitchen). YOU make the rules.
This month’s mouthwatering Honorable Mention recipe, submitted by Chef Randall Schullo…congratulations chef!... is a perfect example of this premise, or actually, if you ask me, axiom. Is it a chicken dish with spaghetti squash, or is it a spaghetti squash dish with leftover turkey? Or bacon? Or cooking greens, which would make it vegan (it’s already gluten-free). You see…one little switcheroo and the whole dish transforms. YOU control your culinary destiny! Add lemon and hot sauce, it’s Mexican. Add harissa and cardamom, it’s Moroccan. As is it can be considered Italian, French, Greek, Spanish, Turkish…any Mediterranean culture really…they all have olives, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, basil, garlic…
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1- 8.5 oz Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried tomatoes- Julienne Cut in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Italian Herbs
1- 8 oz. package sliced portabella mushrooms
1- spaghetti squash
6 ounces of baby spinach
4 ounces of kalamata olives
1- 24 oz. jar of Marinara sauce
3 Tablespoons fresh chopped Basil
1- clove of garlic
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and place the chicken breast in an oven safe pan and bake at 350 for one hour.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds and place open side down in an oven safe pan with a quarter cup of water. The spaghetti squash can bake with the chicken for 40 minutes.
While the chicken and squash bake in the oven, add the Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried tomatoes, Mushrooms, olives, garlic, Basil ,marinara sauce and spinach to a sauce pan. Mix together and set the burner to medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
Take the chicken breasts out of the oven and cut them into bite sized pieces, then add them to the Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato Marinara sauce mixture.
Take the spaghetti squash out of the oven and with a fork, carefully peel the squash out of the shell. Place spaghetti squash on a serving plate and spoon on the Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried tomato marinara sauce on top of the squash. Enjoy!
So, whether before Thanksgiving, or after, please do cook this dish. This is your chance to PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD. What’s growing in your garden that you can add, or substitute with? What’s at the farmers’ market? A different squash? Will cranberry sauce go with this? Gravy?
Another thing I have to say about this particular recipe: Please don’t cook 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts at 350 for an hour! IF…this recipe had been considered as a finalist (and I had it in 6th place so it was close), it would have been with juicy, succulent, tender, mouth-watering, perfectly cooked chicken breast. Me, depending on the size of the breasts, I normally cook my chicken on a parchment lined heavy sheet pan, with abundant salt and pepper and drizzled with Bella Sun Luci Arbequina Olive Oil, at 500 for 8-ish minutes, trying to take them out of the oven (and off of the pan to rest) at 85-90% cooked so it rests up to just cooked. That’s what I say.
This recipe calls for a 24 oz jar of marinara, but I think you’ll want to use a 25 oz jar of Bella Sun Luci Tomato-Artichoke Pasta Sauce, don’t you? And two more things: take the pits out of the olives and serve the basil on top as garnish. As for the rest of this dish: BRAVO! Luscious flavors melting together in a colorful culmination of Mediterranean yumminess. Congratulations Chef Randall! You’ll soon receive a gift box full of many of the products mentioned here, to prepare a new awesome dish to submit for this year’s (deadline July 1, 2018) contest.
Now…EVERYBODY… get cookin’, buon appetito and tanto tanto amore! And arrivederci...until we meet again…