Friday, March 4, 2011

Chicken Sausage and Peppers over Rice

Finding a healthy chicken/turkey sausage was difficult, but I think the thin'n'trim brand makes some pretty good versions. I had a big combo pack of red and green peppers from a trip to the grocery store earlier in the week - and for one person to use 4 peppers in a week before they go bad is a challenge! I had to think of some dishes that highlighted the peppers and wouldn't just use a little bit of one of them chopped up. I also had to come up with some weeknight meals that didn't utilize a microwave (I don't have mine yet) and were pretty quick. Chicken sausage and peppers was the perfect solution! I would also like to point out that, thankfully, my smoke alarm was not set off by this meal!

Chicken Sausage and Peppers over Rice
2 chicken sausage links
2 peppers (I used one each, red and green)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup sliced red onion
Dash of salt and pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp each - dried parsley and basil
1 TB red wine
1 package Carolina Saffron Yellow Rice (or any other kind of rice you'd like really)

1. Get the rice started first. The directions are easy and right on the back of the package. I like this saffron rice because it adds lots of extra flavor and it's a flavor you don't get a lot otherwise. Saffron is very expensive and although I do have some, I like to save it for special occasions - not just a Thursday night cooking for myself. The rice, once the water is boiling and rice added, will take about 20 minutes and the prep time for the rest of the ingredients is right about there - so the timing should work well!
2. Add the olive oil to a large nonstick pan over medium. When there's about 15 minutes left on the rice, add the sliced peppers and onions to the pan. After a couple minutes, add the chicken sausage, which you'll also slice into smaller pieces (which will help it cook faster).
3. When there is 5 minutes left on the rice timer, add your chopped tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and basil. Saute for a minute or two and finally, add your red wine. This was a last minute addition for me - almost makes it like a cacciatore, which I also like. The red wine goes well with the yellow saffron flavors, so I helped myself to a glass with dinner too!
4. Serve the sausage, pepper and onions over the yellow rice - and this could make 3 healthy portions, maybe 2 big portions. And of course, serve with a glass of the red wine you cooked with - because remember, you're only supposed to cook with wine that you'd actually drink!

If you're someone who doesn't like eating sausage - you could easily prepare this dish with sliced chicken breast I think. You might need a little extra cooking time though, so feel free to add the sliced chicken at the same time as the peppers and onions, right at the beginning.

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