Mexican Style Baked Eggs


Two of my favorite things in the dinner world are meals that can be made in one pot and things that involve a gooey egg with a runny yolk.

This lovely concoction delivers both.

A baked egg dish brings a lot to the table. Ease, convenience, great way to use up some leftover veggies, and a way to pack in the veggies and goodness.

This dish is packed with all the flavors of a taco, but eliminates the extra calories of the tortilla and gives a protein punch with some eggs. Also, it’s a lot less messy than a make-your-own taco bar.

You will need

  • 1 white onion cut into thin slices,
  • 2 bell peppers (any color) cut into slices
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 eggs (two per person)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cheese, avocado, sour cream or whatever toppings you prefer

Start by drizzling olive oil in your pot. You want something that is oven-proof and also has sides at least 4 inches high, so you can sautee your veggies and not throw them everywhere.

Toss in your onion and peppers.


Let them cook over medium until the onions are translucent.

Next add diced tomatoes


And stir


Let the tomatoes warm through and cook for about 5 minutes

Then add the rinsed and drained black beans


And stir


Season with salt and pepper and let this cook together for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425.

When you’re happy with your veggie mixture, lower the heat a bit and, using a wooden spoon, make a small divot in the mixture – one for each egg.

You want to be able to crack an egg and have it nestle into the little hole.


Repeat with all your eggs.


Then pop into the oven to bake for about 30 minutes, or until the eggs are set.


Carefully scoop out so as not to break the yolks and pile on a plate.


Add cheese


Some avocado and Greek yogurt (sorry we don’t use sour cream)


And voila. Mexican baked eggs and only one messy pot.

Shrimp Feta and Fennel

I’m still all blushy and glowy from all the love yesterday from the SITS community! You ladies all rock and I’m looking forward to taking the time to drop by all of your blogs.

After all the gushing about some of my recipes, I got a little nervous today.

Dinner tonight wasn’t just about me and my fiance. Now, it was about all of you, too.

I didn’t want to disappoint.

I opened up some of my favorite cookbooks and riffled through all the pages torn from magazines.

My palms started to sweat. I started twirling my hair. Bad signs.

And then, I went back and looked over some of the comments you all left me. And one really stood out. Mo at Mocadeaux (check out her blog here) wrote that she loves high impact and low effort recipes.

I started to breathe more evenly. High impact. Low effort. The hallmarks of itty bitty city kitchen cooking.

Then I remembered something the Barefoot Contessa made that we had wanted to try. A super simple, one pot meal that’s packed with high impact ingredients.

I have a tendency to discount any recipe that has more than 10 ingredients. I get overwhelmed. It gets expensive. And, o  yea, I don’t have the space.

So dishes like this that rely on a few key, really good ingredients, are a standby.

You will need:

  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled, tails on
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • feta

Preheat the oven to 400.

In an oven-safe shallowish pot or skillet, drizzle olive oil and add in the garlic and fennel. Cook over medium until softened.


Pour in the diced tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and stir. I added a splash of Pastis to bring out the anise flavor. It’s not necessary. You can add a splash of white wine instead if you want. Totally up to you.


Let the sauce cook and bubble for about 10 minutes so the flavors come together. Next up, the shrimp.


I used one pound for the two of us. I also went with mediums. I noticed that the large have a tendency to come out tough sometimes.

Nest the shrimp, tails up, in with the tomatoes and fennel.


Sprinkle the mixture liberally with Feta. Bake for 15 minutes.


The shrimp will turn pink and be cooked perfectly. The fennel will still be slightly crunchy. The tomatoes will create a broth perfect for dunking the shrimp or the bread. And the feta adds the salty bite the dish needs.


Spoon out into a bowl. Pick up a piece of shrimp, take a bite and then scoop a spoonful of tomato and fennel into your mouth. Grab a piece of crusty bread and soak up all of those anisey tomatoes juices.


This is the perfect one pot meal for a Saturday night in.

Chicken Pot Pie – Sunday Night Football

So this was last night’s dinner, but with the Giants poor performance and the rain delay for the ’49ers game, I was in no shape to post this recipe.

Having recovered, I want to share it with you.

Fall Sundays in our house mean laundry and reading and football and meals that simmer in a pot on the stove all day filling the apartment with heavenly aromas.

During the week, it’s all about getting a healthy meal on the table with as little effort as possible. But on Sundays, I like to take my time, to savor the scents and flavors that can occur only when you’re cooking low and slow.

And these kinds of foods lend themselves perfectly to Sunday Night Football.

If you’re team’s losing, you’ll likely want some comfort food. And if you’re watching the game with friends, you’ll want a recipe that feeds a crowd.

Luckily, a one pot meal, itty bitty kitchen friendly, satisfies both.

This recipe is a little more involved than my usual, but like I said, it’s Sunday, a day to relax. And cooking relaxes me.

I love Chicken Pot Pie but it’s usually fatty and calorie heavy. Having just tried on my wedding dress, I really don’t want to eat a full-fat, buttery crust pot pie. But I don’t want some wimpy low fat option either.

Enter Cooking Light’s recipe! I was so excited when I saw this in the magazine. It replaces the crust with some buttermilk biscuits, so you still get that flaky breadyness that we associate with pot pie, but in smaller doses. And biscuits just make everything good.

I was just cooking for the two of us, so my measurements are for 2 + lunch leftovers.

You will need:

  • half an onion chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • herbs de provence
  • 1/4 cup flour

Drizzle olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot – whatever you usually make soup in. Add in the carrots, celery, onion and garlic and let them soften.


Season with salt and pepper and add in the flour. Stir the vegetables constantly until the flour is incorporated and cooked down.


Pour in the chicken broth. Let the mixture come to a boil, the lower to medium.


cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes.


Add in the peas and the chicken breast. I just drizzled 2 chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper and baked them at 400 for about 20 minutes. Let them cool and then shred them for the pot pie. Let the mixture simmer for another 5 minutes or so.


While it simmers, prepare your biscuit dough topping. I have a basic recipe I use:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, cold and diced

Mix together the butter, flour and baking soda with a pastry cutter until the mixture forms pea sized clumps. Then pour in the buttermilk and stir.

I dropped heaping tablespoonful sized dough balls on top of the pot pie filling.

This whole pot goes into the oven at 425 for about 30 minutes. If your soup pot isn’t oven-proof, pour the filling into a baking dish and then add the biscuit topping.



Bake until the biscuits are golden brown (about 30 minutes)


Dish up into bowls and wallow as Eli throws another interception.




Veggie Chili

The best friend of the itty bitty city kitchen is the one pot meal.

Chop everything up, throw it in a pot and let it cook away while you take a hot shower or hit the treadmill or throw things in frustration.

Hey, I don’t judge.

Soups and chilis are great, because you can throw together any old ingredients and usually come out with a pretty good meal.

That’s what I did.

I used 2 green bell peppers, 3 roma tomatoes, 1/2 a white onion, one can black beans and one can red kidney beans rinsed and drained, 1 pablano pepper, olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika.

Chop all the ingredients up so they are relatively similar in size. Drizzle olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot and toss in the peppers and onion. I wanted these to have some time to cook and soften before everything else went in.


When the onions start to brown, toss in the tomatoes and stir. Season with salt and pepper.


Last, dump in the beans and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Let this bubble away on the stove on low for twenty minutes or so.


Dish up into bowls and top with grated cheddar cheese.


A big hearty bowl of veggies to make up for the candy bar you ate earlier.



Butternut Squash Soup




See that. That right there is Fall.

Corn on the cob roasting on a grill, the smell wafting down 3rd avenue as you stroll down the street, checking out the jewelry, food and weird stuff on display at a street fair.

I love New York Street Fairs. Great people watching, great fun finds, and, of course, great food smells. Sausage and peppers, kettle corn, gyros, and that tinge of fall in the air. Here’s a schedule of street fairs.

Walking the street fair on Saturday and feeling that tinge of a chill when the sun started to set had me thinking fall.

And when I think fall, I think butternut squash.

This time, in soup form.

Soup itself is such a fall food. Making a soup out of such a great fall vegetable just has me ready for scarves and sweaters and tights! I’m a sucker for tights and boots.

This is a ridiculously easy recipe and it’s a great make ahead too.

You will need 1 butternut squash, 1/2 a white onion, 2 cloves of garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and vegetable stock.

Start by roasting the squash like we did when we made the pasta sauce.

Let the squash cool completely, then scoop out the flesh into a large pot. Add the onion, chopped roughly, and two cloves of garlic peeled and halved. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium, stirring so that the onions and garlic brown a bit.



Add enough vegetable broth to cover the vegetables and simmer covered until everything has softened. You can use chicken broth, too, but I wanted to keep this vegetarian.



Puree the soup with a blender or immersion blender. For a little bit of that je ne sais quoi that will have people wondering what you could have possibly put in this soup, add a sprinkle of all spice. It adds a nice complexity of flavors and a touch of warmth that is perfect for cooler fall nights.


Ladle up big bowls and top with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

This has me wanting pumpkin spice candles and cinnamon cookies.


Cavatelli and Broccoli – the right way

If you’re going to make cavatelli and broccoli the right way, you first need to learn to say it the right way.

Your eye scans the menu and your immediate response is oh! Ca-va-tell-ee! I haven’t had that in ages.

But say it with me now. Ga-va-deal.

What rules of pronunciation dictate that the ca becomes a ga?

I don’t know. But that’s the way my family says it. That’s the way I grew up saying it.

So I kind of cringe when I hear ca-va-tell-ee. Much the same way I cringe when I hear sauce instead of gravy or ca-know-lee instead of ga-nawl.

Is it the region of Italy we’re from? Is it the town in which we settled upon arrival to the States?


It’s probably just my family.

But I digress.

Cavatelli and broccoli.

The right way.

Okay before I can tell you how to make it, I have to let you in on the little inside joke about making it the right way.

My Grandma Grace (my mom’s mom) is one of four sisters. She had brothers too, a big Catholic Italian family, but it’s the sisters that are important in this story.

I grew up with a very Italian grandma and three very Italian great-aunts.

My mom grew up with a very Italian mother and three very Italian aunts.

When I say very Italian what I mean is very loud, very bossy, very opinionated, very loving, and did I mention very loud?

One louder than the other.

I laugh when my Auntie Anna calls me and says “Jacky, it’s your Auntie Anna.” Oh trust me, Auntie Anna. I know it’s you.  I would know that voice anywhere.

These aren’t your average hard-headed and head-strong Italian women. These are Romano women. They are a breed unto themselves.

When my great grandmother was told she could no longer go to Florida by herself, she shrugged and said, fine, then I’ll die.

And guess what, despite her good health, she did.

She willed herself to die. Stubborn woman.

The Romano women are the strongest most independent women I have met in my life and I am grateful to count them as family and as role models.

They taught my mom, and later me, how to run a household, how to stand on your own two feet, how to hold your ground, how to support yourself, and how to curse.

They also taught us how to cook. It’s their recipes that I turn to most often.

So the cavatelli.

My mom always cooked for the whole family for Christmas. Aunts, Uncles, Great-Aunts, Great-Uncles, Grandparents, they all piled into our house.

And our house shook with their voices.

And I usually hid upstairs in my room. (Only child, remember?)

Christmas dinner starts at 2 O’clock with antipasti, moves onto pasta around 4 O’clock, continues with Turkey and the trimmings around 6 O’clock and concludes with coffee and dessert some time around 8 O’clock. There is copious amounts of wine necessary in between.

After the marathon of eating, and the even more intense marathon of cooking required to turn out the spread, everyone would contentedly sit back and thank my mom for the meal.

With one exception.

My Aunt Josie was the oldest of my grandma’s siblings. She never married. She worked as a waitress and had a big old house in Orange that everyone at one time or other lived in and that she later rented out to boarders.

She was a pip.

(When we went through her house when she sold it to downsize, there was a sign in one of the drawers that said “Keep the F* out. This means you.” My mom laminated and has it in her office now.)

She looked at my mom one Christmas, after my mom had slaved away over four courses of delicious food, and said, next time, if you want to make the cavatelli the right way…

The right way!

My mom and I will always and forever tease each other and ask the other if she is making the recipe the right way.

Recently I asked her, what is the right way?

She didn’t know.

I called my Grandma. Grandma, what’s the right way to make cavatelli?

Well, this is how I make it, was her response.

Meaning, well, my way is the right way.

I don’t think any of us know the right way to make it anymore, since Aunt Josie left us a few years ago. Maybe she’s making it the right way for St. Anthony. Maybe if we pray to St. Anthony we will find the right way to make it.

(For you non-Italians, Anthony is the Saint you pray to when you lose something. Don’t believe me?  Next time you lose something, say “”St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come around. Something’s been lost and cannot be found.” I lost the bracelet my boyfriend gave me for our one year anniversary (twice, once in Port Authority and once in Duane Reade) and after praying to St. Anthony, I got it back (twice).

But I don’t want to bother him about the recipe.

Instead, I’ll make it Grandma’s way and I’ll call it the right way.

This is a fantastic recipe for those nights when you think take out is the only option. It’s super fast and pretty much fool proof. And because it can be served hot or cold, it’s also a great recipe to make ahead if you know it’s going to be one of those weeks where you’ll be lucky to get out the door with two matching shoes. You can also dish this out into Tupperware for a grab and go lunch.

For cavatelli and broccoli you will need:

  • Cavatelli
  • Broccoli
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic

See, four ingredients. Super easy. You can add parmesan cheese at the end if you want, but that’s entirely up to you.

Also, this is a one pot meal since you’re going to cook the broccoli and the cavatelli in the same water.

So bring a pot of water to a boil.

Chop the broccoli into bit-size florets and drop into the water once it is boiling.

You don’t want to overcook the broccoli here. You want it to still be crisp. Give it 30 seconds to a minute tops, then scoop out of the water and into a big bowl.


Set aside the broccoli and add the cavatelli to the boiling water.

There is a lot of debate surrounding pasta water. To salt or not to salt?

I’ve seen Scott Conant rip chefs to shreds on Chopped when they don’t salt the water.

So I am going to quietly and quickly say that I don’t salt my water, but it’s because my grandma doesn’t either.

Scott, you can’t yell at my grandma. And you can’t yell at me because I am making this dish her way.

While the cavatelli cooks (follow the instructions on the packet for time), dice up two or three cloves of garlic. We’re not cooking the garlic, so you want as small a dice as possible.


When the cavatelli is cooked, drain and pour the hot pasta over the broccoli.


Drizzle with olive oil to coat and then add the garlic. A few grinds of black pepper can be added, too, if you wish.

Toss to combine. The pasta will warm the olive oil and the garlic and form a sauce that will coat the crisp broccoli and the tender cavatelli.


If you want a burst of freshness, you can squeeze half a lemon over the warm pasta. Or, you can sprinkle over a handful of parmesan. Or you can get crazy and do both.

Serve hot, immediately. Or refrigerate for a cold dish later.

Much as we joke about there being a right way to make the dish, the truth is that the beauty of cooking is that you can take your family’s recipes and make them your own. Adjust seasonings to suit your tastes. Add a twist that’s uniquely yours.


If anyone gives you trouble, you just channel Frank Sinatra and say, Hey, I did it my way!

Almost No Cook Spicy Peanut Veggies Over Noodles

Hello heat wave.

Here in New York, we’ve got those 3 H’s in town.

Hazy, Hot and Humid.

When they’re around, the last thing I want to do is cook.

But a girl (and her boyfriend) has got to eat.

So here’s an almost-no-cook dinner to help you beat the heat.

Spicy Peanut Veggies Over Noodles.

This is my own spin on some of my favorite Thai flavors.

For some reason, summer makes me think vegetarian. Piles of vegetables and fruits in the grocery make me wonder why I would ever need meat in my diet (then I think about mom’s meatballs or a burger from The Smith and I forget about my vegetarian conversion).

This is also one of my favorite kinds of meals to prepare because it all just goes into one big bowl and then gets dished out.

You will need:

  • 3 tbsp Peanut Butter
  • Chili oil (or hot sauce) to taste
  • 2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Egg Noodles
  • Veggies (We’re using cabbage, broccoli, cucumber and scallions)

We’re going to start with the cook part.

Bring a pot of water to boil.

I don’t want the broccoli to be raw, so I’m going to toss the florets, chopped up into bite-size pieces, into the boiling water for a minute. Not even a minute.

While the water is coming to a boil, pull out a large bowl and combine the peanut butter, rice wine vinegar and chili oil. If the mix is a little thick, don’t fret. We’re going to toss hot egg noodles in and the heat and the water that is bound to make its way into the bowl will thin it out some.


When the water’s boiling and the peanut sauce is mixed, toss in the broccoli.

You want to have the sauce done because the broccoli is going straight from the pot into the bowl.

Just cook enough to take away the rawness. If you want, you can leave your broccoli raw. I’m just not a fan.

Scoop out the broccoli and transfer to the bowl. Pour the egg noodles into the water now vacated by the broccoli. Why waste water? Why dirty two pots?

Cook according to the directions on the package.

While they cook, add your other veggies to the bowl. I used a few handfuls of the bagged coleslaw mix with cabbage and carrots, some chopped cucumber and some sliced scallions.


Toss the veggies with the peanut sauce.

When the noodles are cooked, add to the veggies mixture.


The heat from the noodles will melt the peanut butter and will warm the veggies.

Scoop heaping spoonfuls into bowls.


Top with some chopped peanuts if you like.


The bowl goes in the dishwasher, making this a one pot to wash dinner.

Which is necessary in this heat.

Who wants to stand in an itty bitty kitchen, scrubbing a stack of pots on a lazy summer city night like this?

Mexican Chili

The best friend of the itty bitty city kitchen is the one pot meal.

Only pot to make room for on the limited counter space.

And more importantly, only one pot to wash.

This is especially important after a long day at work. It’s even more important on hockey night.

Two nights ago, the Rangers thwarted the Bruins plans for a sweep, winning game 4 in the series in overtime 4-3. The series stands at 3-1. Bruins win, they’re in. Rangers win, they force a game 6 and hold onto Stanley Cup hopes.

This is going to be an intense game. You’re not going to want to have to wash stacks of dishes.

It’s supposed to be summer. It’s supposed to be time for seafood and burgers and freshness.

But, like I said before, in New York it’s 53 degrees with 23 mph winds.

Dinner calls for something that will warm us up. And be easy to eat during the game.

But after a long, cold winter of soups and stews and potatoes and roasts, I needed something different.

I am so ready for summer, and summer makes me think of Mexican.

Peppers, black beans, avocados, spicy chorizo, a crisp refreshing Corona.

How to take those flavors and make an easy to eat meal (tacos are too messy for hockey-watching on the couch) that will chase away the chill in the air.

This is my Mexican chili

You will need:

  • 1 bell pepper (any color is fine. I used green because those looked the best at the store)
  • 1/2 a yellow onion
  • 2 portabella mushrooms
  • 2 cans black bean
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can diced tomatos
  • 1 can corn
  • olive oil
  • chorizo (note if you want to make this vegetarian leave out chorizo and add in some taco seasoning instead)

Drizzle olive oil in the pan. I like to use my aluminum pot here.

Add the chopped onion and pepper and cook until soft.


Chop the chorizo and add to the pepper and onion.

Let cook so the chorizo flavors the oil and the peppers and onion.


Add the cleaned and chopped portabella.

When the mushrooms are cooked down, pour in the can of diced tomatoes.

Stir and let come to a bubble.


Wash and drain the beans and drain the corn. When the tomato juices bubble, add the beans and the corn to the pot.

Stir. Cover. Let all the flavors come together.


Serve in bowls and add toppings as you wish.

Some ideas are taco cheese, monterey jack cheese, salsa, my avocado yogurt sauce (see here ) or even some crushed tortilla chips.


Lime. Corona.


Or, even better, try this little drink concoction.

Panache. (Also called a Shandy.)

This is a fantastic summer cocktail.

You just need any light beer and limonade.

Limonade is a French soda. It’s like a carbonated lemonade.

Going with the Mexican food thing, we used Corona.

Pour the beer into a frosty glass and add some limonade – roughly 2 parts beer to one part limonade. If you want it more citrusy, you can go one to one.


Chili. Chips. Panache.


Oh. And the game. Don’t forget to turn that on.

Let’s go Rangers!

Chicken with Tomato and Fennel, Stuffed Mushrooms

This is a one pot meal.

Okay a one pot and one cookie sheet meal, but we’re going to cover that with foil, so no clean up there.

A one-pot-to-clean-up meal.

For this recipe you will need:

  • a container of white button mushrooms, washed
  • bread crumbs
  • olive oil
  • parmesan cheese
  • one fennel bulb
  • two tomatoes
  • two chicken breasts
  • white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste

Most of the recipes on here are for two but can easily be doubled or tripled as needed.

You don’t have to make the mushrooms with the chicken, but I bought two containers of mushrooms over the weekend when I really needed one, and so have some spare mushrooms laying around.

Let’s start with the mushrooms, because once they’re assembled and thrown into the oven, we’ll make the chicken and our timing will be so spot on that we’ll be turning the burner off on the chicken and pulling the mushroom out of the oven and putting everything on the table piping hot at the same time.

Note: this has never happened, but I tend to cook things that are forgiving when (every night) this doesn’t happen.

OK, mushrooms. Preheat the oven to 400.

Assembly line is the best way to go in a small kitchen.


Cleaned mushrooms, bowl, foil-lined cookie sheet (or pizza pan- whatever you have). Twist the stems from the caps so you have a mushroom cap turned bowl. Caps go on the baking sheet, cup side up, and stems go in the bowl.

Ready? Go!

Okay, when you have all the caps lined up on the sheet, get ready to get your hands dirty.


My mom pulls out a cutting board and chops up all of the mushroom stems, but I just don’t have the space for that. (I do. I have my over the sink cutting board. But after a hard day at work, mushing up the stems with your hands is so much more satisfying). Before you dig in to mash them up, be sure you have bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and olive oil handy. I’ve forgotten this step before. It results in bits of mushroom on cabinet pulls and refrigerator handles.

Break up the stems into small pieces. You don’t have to go crazy, just break them up. Add some bread crumbs and some olive oil to get a wet sand consistency. There’s no real measurements here. It’s just by feel. Not too dry, not too wet. Like the perfect sandcastle building sand. Stir in some parmesan cheese. (you can leave the cheese out, or you can switch up the type. I’ve used feta, provolone diced up, or mozzarella. Use what you like, just don’t use too much. You just want a subtle little bit of cheesiness to break up the mushroom woodiness).

Using your hands or a spoon (I always go for hands), mound the mixture into the mushroom caps.


These are ready to go into a 400 degree oven for fifteen to twenty minutes.

I’m going to throw the bowl in the sink and move the cookie sheet to the side for now. I’ll put it in the oven when I put the chicken in the pan and cross my fingers everything gets done at the same time.

Two chicken breasts, washed and patted dry come out of the fridge along with two tomatoes and the fennel. I keep ingredients in the fridge or cabinet until I’m ready for them to be used to save space.

Chop up the fennel and tomatoes. I go for a fairly chunky chop because I like big pieces of each ingredient on the form. Up to you, though. As big or as a small as you like. If you’re in a pinch, you can replace the fresh tomatoes with a can of diced too. You can even mix it up with a can of diced tomatoes with basil or with garlic or with whatever. These aren’t recipes to follow precisely. Heck, I don’t even give you precise measurements! These are just ideas and what’s bubbling in my kitchen.

IMG_0443 (1)

Drizzle some olive oil in your pan. You can use a frying pan that’s a little deeper if you want. Or a wide bottom pot on the shallow side. I use this aluminum one for like everything. Toss in the fennel and tomatoes and cook over medium heat. You want the fennel to start to soften and the juices from the tomatoes to start to run in the pan. Add a splash of white wine (You can leave out, of course).

While this is simmering, put the mushrooms in the oven. Season your chicken with salt and pepper and place in the pan, nesting in the tomatoes and fennel.

Cook through, flipping to cook both sides. About twenty minutes.

If you find the chicken isn’t cooking through in the center, don’t hesitate to throw it in the oven with the mushrooms. I do this sometimes when I have to do a million things and don’t have the time to babysit the chicken on the stove. This is why I go to this aluminum pot- it’s oven-safe.

The chicken is cooked through when the juices run clear. The tomatoes and oil and wine will make a wonderfully acidic and tangy sauce for the chicken that’s balanced by the anise fennel.

The mushrooms add a nice richness, a nice pop of almost butteryness and fattyness as a juxtaposition against the freshness of the chicken.

Add a side salad and a glass of wine and you’re in business. Crusty Italian bread to sop up the juices for those of you not counting carbs is also recommended.

One piece of chicken per person, fennel and tomatoes scooped on top.


Mushrooms on a plate in the center of the table for popping. A crisp romaine salad on the side.

The pot goes into the sink. The foil lining the sheet gets tossed.

And the day slips away in a haze of red wine.