There are many brands of jarred roasted red bell peppers available to buy, but the store-bought kind can’t equal the intense, piercing smokiness of fresh peppers roasted in your kitchen. Also, they’re simple to prepare.
If you have a gas range, you can roast peppers straight over the burners on the stovetop. Or, you can cook them in the oven of an electric or gas range. Methods for both are mentioned below.
Serve the chicken breasts on top of a or rice or a bed of orzo or other pasta – for a hearty, comforting dinner.
- 1 large red bell pepper, halved lengthwise, stem and seeds removed
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 small chopped shallot
- 2 garlic chopped clove
- 1/3 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- salt for taste (ground salt for best results)
- Four 8-oz chicken breast halves pounded to an even width
- 3 tbsp dry white wine
- cooked rice or orzo, for serving
To roast the bell pepper over a gas flame
- Urn two burners on medium-high and place one pepper half directly over each, evenly cut-side up.
- Char until the skin blackens and starts to blister, using tongs to turn in reverse positions to char all sides.
To oven roast:
- Preheat the oven to 370° F. Place the pepper halves cut-side up in a parchment-lined or shallow foil pan. Roast until starting to char, takes around 8 minutes. Turn and roast until blackened, 10-12 minutes longer.
- When the skin is blistered, transfer the pepper halves to a paper bag, seal tightly and let steam for 15 minutes. Remove from the pack and use a small paring knife (or your fingers) to peel the skin. Coarsely chop.
- Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add one tablespoon of oil. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, frequently stirring, until beginning to soften, 3 minutes.
- Add the chopped bell pepper, vegetable broth, tomato paste, and vinegar and bring to a light simmer, stirring to incorporate the tomato paste. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook 10 minutes.
- Carefully pour the pepper mixture into a food processor. Process until a smooth puree form, adding vegetable broth a little at a time if the mixture is too thick. (It should have about the same consistency as canned tomato sauce.)
- Return the pureed mixture to the saucepan, stir in the paprika, and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over shallow heat while the chicken cooks. (Or prepare the sauce a day ahead and rewarm gently before using.)
- Preheat (or reduce) the oven to 355° F.
- Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining one tablespoon of oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sear until browned on the bottom, 3-4 minutes.
- Turn the chicken over and stir in the wine. Place the skillet in the oven and roast 4-5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a plate and let rest eight minutes.
Serve the chicken breasts over rice or pasta with sauce spooned on top.