Herbed Chicken with Vegetable Bolognese

Thanksgiving Monday.  The calm before the storm. 

One would assume that I'd be frantic with To-Do lists and To-Cook lists and To-Remember lists. This would be totally correct. What can I say?

One would also assume that my dinner menu this week would be on the lighter side, what with all of the stuffing, sweet potatoes, and pie on the horizon.  And this would be partially correct.

am determined to eat light this week, but fortunately that doesn't mean resorting to lettuce and water for dinner.  No celery sandwiches here, thanks. 

So far this week, with a little help from Giada De Laurentiis, I cooked up a delicious lentil soup with beef, and tonight I'm following that up with her hearty but healthy chicken with vegetable bolognese.  She always seems to know exactly what I'm craving.  Isn't that weird? 

Thank you, Giada.  You have some stellar meal ideas inside that giant, giant forehead of yours.

I should mention that tonight's dinner is also inspired by my brother-in-law and his girlfriend, who ran the Philadelphia marathon yesterday.  They totally rocked it!  I was completely inspired by the runners and their obvious committment to health and such a physical challenge. 

(And something about watching those two nuts cross mile 25 with huge smiles on their faces made me want to hook myself up to an IV of water and green vegetables. I'm not sure all the cheering and yelling I did counteracted the previous night's pre-marathon carb loading.  But hey, we spectators gotta be fueled up!)

Tonight, lean chicken is coated in Dijon mustard and herbs, roasted until juicy and tender, and then smothered in a rustic red wine/tomato bolognese sauce with loads of veggies.  Totally not a pre-Thanksgiving sacrifice dinner.  Add a salad and pasta or rice and you've got dinner you can feel good about.

Really, who says you need to eat like a bird the week of Thanksgiving?  Not this girl.

Herbed Chicken
Vegetable Bolognese
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Yields 4 servings

2 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbs fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 c dry red wine
2 tbs tomato paste
1 1/2 c low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1-2 tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tbs Dijon mustard
2 tsp herbes de Provence
1 lb chicken breast

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 deg F.
Combine the carrots, onions, bell peppers, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until the veggies are finely chopped.

In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped veggies, oregano, thyme, and salt/pepper, and cook until slightly softened, about 6 minutes.

Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and tomato paste, and stir until dissolved.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half and the veggies are tender, about 25 minutes.
For the chicken, combine the rosemary, mustard, herbes de Provence, and salt/pepper in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. 

Using a brush or a spoon, coat the chicken with the mixture and place on a baking sheet covered in aluminum foil and coated with cooking spray. 

Cook for approximately 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Cut the chicken into thin slices and arrange on a platter.  Spoon the sauce over the chicken, and serve with rice or pasta.

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