1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, plus additional to taste
1 large fennel root, cored and thinly sliced
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
1 3/4 cups boxed or jarred unsalted crushed tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
2 large sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup pitted and chopped Kalamata olives, optional
Fresh oregano leaves and chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish, optional
Pat chicken dry with paper towel and season with salt and black pepper. In a large braiser or heavy skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add chicken and sear for 2 minutes per side, until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Reduce heat to medium, add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Stir in fennel, mushrooms, tomatoes, oregano and thyme. Return chicken to braiser, spooning vegetables and sauce over top. Cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until chicken’s juices run clear and no pink remains. Remove and discard thyme.
Divide mixture among plates, dividing evenly. If using, top with olives, oregano and parsley.
Serving Size: 1 chicken breast and 1 1/4 cup vegetable sauce
A trick to keeping chicken breast juicy and flavorful? Brine it in salt water as we do in this easy recipe. This makes for a complete meal, thanks to a vibrant side of tomatoes and artichokes. For extra dietary fiber, serve with a side of arugula drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.