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Italian Chicken and Sausage Trattoria

Recipe: Italian Chicken and Sausage Trattoria

Remarks:

    This light entrée is an easy, elegant and one-pot dish. You can round out the meal with pasta on the side or under the spinach. For my guests, I'll serve it on top of papardelle pasta with wilted spinach. (Dieters can skip the pasta.) A good crusty Italian bread and a glass of Chianti or Ruffino Classico and you're all set.

Servings:
Serves 4 (can be doubled)

Ingredients:

    4 bone-in chicken breasts
    Olive oil spray
    1/2 large onion, chopped
    1 red bell pepper, chopped into one-inch chunks
    12 cloves garlic, whole
    2 Italian sausages (pre-cooked), cut into quarter-inch discs
    4 Roma tomatoes, quartered
    1/2 cup of your favorite Italian marinade or Italian dressing (I use one that's garlic and balsamic vinegar-flavored.)
    Italian spice mix
    2 6-inch zucchinis, cut into half-inch thick discs
    4 cups fresh baby spinach

Instructions:

    Get out your 9 by 13-inch ovenproof pan or your lasagna casserole. (You'll need a large casserole. If you use 9 by 13-inch pan, this will just barely fit.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

    Wash and dry the chicken. Lay the chicken breasts in the pan bone-side down. Spray with olive oil. Now toss in all of the veggies (except the zucchini and spinach), the sausage and the garlic. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Pour on just a half cup of the marinade. Drizzle this all over the veggies and the meat. Spray the whole thing with the olive oil spray and then sprinkle the top with the Italian spice mixture. (About a half teaspoon or to taste should do it.) Roast this mixture at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

    At the 30-minute point, open the oven, toss the veggies around a bit and put in the zucchini. Now drizzle on the rest of the marinade. (You can use more marinade if you like. My goal here was to keep the calories down but, if you're not watching calories, put on as much as you want.) Roast again for 20 to 25 minutes. You'll know it's done for sure when you cut into one of the chicken breasts and you don't see any pink. The chicken will still be plenty juicy.

    What you're going for here is a roasted dish. The veggies take on a roasted flavor, and the tomatoes will just dissolve in your mouth. When you cut into it, the zucchini will still be slightly crunchy because you added it later. The onions soak up the garlic flavor and they taste exotic and rustic.

Serving Suggestions:

    To serve it, put a cup of spinach on each plate. Put the chicken off center on top of the spinach. Pour on the veggies and some of the sauce. The hot food will wilt the spinach and you'll get your salad at the same time.

Enjoy!

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