Peppers are great when combined with meat. In just about every culture, a cook can find recipes that pair the two. And most them are on the easy side to prepare.
Mexicans, for example, have fajitas. Head to the Orient, and you can find all sorts of stir-fry recipes that feature peppers and meat. Ditto for the Middle East and the Mediterranean countries, where peppers are stuffed with various types of meat. And go to Africa, and you’ll find peppers and meat are combined with other vegetables and fruit in tasty dishes.
Here’s a recipe that I tried recently. I’m not sure of its origins, but the fact that the only cooking container you need is a Dutch oven and takes less than an hour from start to finish makes it very desirable.
The cooking method, braising, is a favorite of mine. Even the tough cuts of meat come out tender when simmered slowly in a little liquid.
Balsamic Chicken and Sweet Peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, thinly sliced
1 large yellow bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley
Heat oil in medium Dutch oven over high heat until it shimmers. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. Place chicken in the pan, in batches, top-side down. Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn over, continue cooking 3 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
Add peppers to Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the vinegar and cook until reduced by half. Add honey and broth, season with salt and pepper, cook for 5 minutes.
Return the chicken and accumulated juices to the pot. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pot, and cook until the chicken is tender, about 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken to a platter. Cook sauce until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and pour sauce over the chicken.
Note: I substituted a dozen pheasant thighs and the result was more than satisfactory.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 380 calories, 28 grams carbohydrates, 30 grams protein, 115 milligrams cholesterol, 16 grams fat.