What a rewarding experience to whip up a lovely meal for oneself—that is until one has to face a sink brimming with greasy pots, pans and other kitchen stuff.
The prospect of all that dishwashing to feed just one person can be discouraging, but who says home-cooked meals have to end on a sour note for the (single and occasional) home cook?
This rich, flavorful chicken and tomato special, courtesy of Janina Raella “Ninay” Zamora, the young proprietor and barista of Arc & Vine Café in Makati (Facebook Arc & Vine Cafe, Instagram @arcandvine), requires only one pan for sautéing, frying, simmering as well as reducing wine. So, instead of worrying more about the cleanup, one can simply focus and enjoy the cooking.
ONE-PAN CREAMY TOMATO AND BASIL CHICKEN
1 pc chicken breast, butterflied
1 bundle asparagus
French beans, about a handful
Butter, as needed
½ pc onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ c red wine (preferably Yellow Tail)
1½ c Del Monte canned crushed tomatoes
Baby tomatoes, halved
4 tbsp brown sugar
¼ c Emborg cooking cream
Fresh basil for garnishing
1 Trim the tough ends of the asparagus. Peeling the stalks is optional, but it helps make them look pretty.
2 On a slightly warm pan, put 1 tbsp oil then sauté string beans in it. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
3 Sauté the asparagus using the same pan, adding oil as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 tbsp water. Cover the pan for about 5 minutes, allowing the stalks to simmer until they’re softer (but still with a bright-green color). On a platter, set aside with the French beans then cover with foil.
4 Season chicken breast with a pinch of salt and pepper on each side. Wipe off oil from the pan. Melt 1 tbsp butter on the pan then place the chicken with skin side down. Glaze with butter as the meat cooks—until it has browned. Flip the chicken to its other side and cook in the same manner. (Don’t be bothered by the charred look of the butter.) Remove cooked chicken from the pan. Set aside.
5 Sauté onions using the remaining butter on the pan. Add the garlic. Pour wine and reduce for about 10 minutes, or until the wine smells sweeter, on medium heat.
6 Pour in the crushed tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and 1-2 tsp brown sugar. Reduce heat. Bring mixture to a slight boil. Add 2 tbsp water, then 2 tsp brown sugar. Place chicken back in the pan, coat with the sauce mixture. Cover pan. Leave for 15 minutes.
7 Add baby tomatoes, the cream and basil chiffonade (stacking, rolling tightly and slicing the leaves into thin, long strips).
8 Remove chicken from the pan. Cut in half, then into smaller pieces. Plate chicken cuts with steamed rice. Drizzle with sauce. Add asparagus, French beans on the side.
Pasta can be used instead of rice.
If a spicy version is preferred, add hot sauce while the dish is simmering.
Nestlé All-Purpose Cream is a cheaper substitute for Emborg.
Make sure to season (as indicated in procedure) with salt and pepper each main element of the dish so there are no gaps in flavor.
The tough ends of asparagus need not go to waste. These can be used to make soup or a veggie dish.