I was lying down on my tattooist’s table the other day, and as he was torturing away, my mind started wandering towards food, aka work in my case… Lately, I sort of feel like my inspiration has totally abandoned me and so I was racking my brains as to what recipes I was gonna come up with the following week.
So I just lay there silent for a very long time, thinking, thinking, and coming up with absolutely nothing. When you’ve been blogging for so long, there comes a time I guess when you feel you’ve pretty much made every single recipe that’s known to mankind. Luckily for me, Olivier addressed me after a while of me being completely lost in thoughts: “You seem pretty pensive there, Sonia… penny for your thoughts?”
So I told him about how I had to come up with at least 3 recipes for the following week, but couldn’t even think of a single one. The minutes that followed ended up being a total revelation. You see, Olivier is Français, so he’s passionate about his food. He started enumerating all of his favorite dishes and explaining to me how he actually makes them. I left my session that day not only with an almost completed amazing tattoo but also with my head full of inspiration.
This Poulet au Paprika, with loads of fresh bell peppers and stuffed green olives, was inspired by that very conversation, and even though it has very little to do with what Olivier actually described, this super yummy, super easy to make and crazy tasty chicken dish would’ve never seen the light of day had it not been for our little chat.
Honestly, it has to be one of my favorite chicken recipes of all times and I know for a fact that I will be making it on a regular basis.
It’s another one of those super versatile dishes that can basically be served any time of day, any time of year, and for any occasion! It’s fresh but bold at the same time. It’s light, but also super satisfying all at once.
It’s so unbelievably loaded with all kinds of flavors and textures, I can’t even find the words to describe how unbelievably good it is.
I think you need to try it for yourself to find out exactly what I’m talking about…
One of the best kept secrets to getting super tender, juicy and tasty chicken breasts is to brine them for at least 12 hours before cooking them. So, if time permits, I strongly suggest that you place your chicken breasts to brine in a solution consisting of 4 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of salt the night before you plan on making this dish. You don’t absolutely HAVE to do it but trust me, it’s a little step that requires very little effort on your part, that’ll cost you absolutely nothing and you won’t believe the world of difference that it makes.
When ready to cook your chicken, pat it real dry and cut the chicken breasts in half crosswise. Then, combine the spices that are listed under “spice mix” in the ingredients list below together in a small bowl and mix until well combined; use about half of that spice mix to sprinkle the pieces of chicken generously on both sides.
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan with fitting lid. Once hot, add the pieces of chicken and sear until nicely browned on both sides.
Put the lid on, lower the heat to medium-low and cook the chicken for about 15 minutes, or until it registers 165°F on a meat thermometer.
Once cooked, remove the chicken, along with its cooking juices, to a plate.
Return the pan to the heat source, add the onions and cook for about 2 minutes, until they start to come apart and are slightly softened.
Add the bell peppers, green olives and remaining spice mix, toss and cook until the bell peppers are softened, about 3 minutes.
About those olives: as you can probably see, I used almond stuffed green olives. If you can get your hands on them, I strongly suggest that you do the same: something really has to be said for the the extra little crunch that the almonds confer to the dish. Garlic or lemon stuffed olives would be equally delicious, I think!
When the bell peppers have softened a bit, add the chicken broth and continue cooking for about 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
Return the chicken and cooking juices to the pan, put the lid back on and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with a side of cooked orzo, if desired.
Cooked rice, couscous or cauliflower rice would also make for excellent sides!
- 2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 large (225g | 8oz each) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in half crosswise and patted dry *(see note)
- 1 of each red, yellow and organge bell peppers, sliced
- 2 medium yellow onions, cut into large chunks
- 1 cup pitted green olives (I used almond stuffed)
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp crushed fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp whole celery seeds
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley
- Cooked Orzo
- Combine all the spices together in a small bowl and mix until well combined; use about half of that spice mix to sprinkle the pieces of chicken on both sides.
- Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan with fitting lid. Once hot, add the pieces of chicken and sear until nicely browned on both sides. Cover, lower the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken registers 165°F on a meat thermometer. Remove the chicken, along with its cooking juices, to a plate.
- Return the pan to the heat source, add the onions and cook for about 2 minutes, until they start to come apart and are slightly softened.
- Add bell peppers, olives and remaining spice mix, toss and cook until the bell peppers are softened, about 3 minutes, then add the chicken broth and continue cooking for about 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
- Return the chicken and cooking juices to the pan, put the lid back on and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with a side of cooked orzo, if desired.