I’ve been making this chicken recipe for probably 15 years – it’s a slightly sweet and spicy chicken (thanks to the mixture of brown sugar with chili powder and a dash of hot sauce) that is always SO good. I haven’t made it in quite some time, but had the urge to make it again this weekend and was reminded that it is so easy and so tasty. And I decided I could make it even better/healthier with the addition of some spiralized zucchini and onions instead of my usual pasta. I must say that I love our new spiralizer so much. And guess what? The addition of the zucchini and onion pasta just made this the BEST MEAL EVER. I may be slightly exaggerating, but I don’t think so. Luckily for you, I realized while I was cooking that I haven’t shared a recipe here in a bit and decided to start taking pictures so I could share.
So a quick walkthrough of this oh-so-easy and tasty dish that seems just a touch fancy – so perfect for serving to others!
I started out by lightly coating the chicken in a flour/salt/pepper mixture. We sliced our giant chicken breasts into more reasonably sized pieces for more even – and less time-consuming – cooking. They’re just very lightly coated and then browned in a mixture of butter and olive oil until nicely browned. The chicken will continue to cook in the sauce so you don’t have to worry about it being cooked through at this point.
Side note: I think one of the reasons this was my best batch ever of this chicken was because it was the first time I made it in my cast iron skillet, my favorite kitchen pan EVER. While the chicken was browning, I went ahead and spiralized my zucchini and onion. I’ve had the spiralizer for about a month and it is now my favorite way to make zucchini. The spiralizer is so easy to use (and clean) and the spiralized veggies are so quick and easy to cook. (I’ll also say my kids think it’s so much fun – and have even spiralized apples!) I used about half of a very large zucchini and one medium sized onion. I could have used more, but I knew that I’d probably be the only one in the house eating it.
Back to the chicken preparation…I removed the brown chicken and added the sauce ingredients to the skillet, starting with the stewed tomatoes, brown sugar, water, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce.
Once the sauce started bubbling, I added the spices. I’ll admit that for this recipe that I’ve made for so many years, I’m more of a shake-the-spices-directly-into-the-skillet kind of girl. I think I use approximately equal amounts of each spice: chili powder, mustard powder, celery seed, garlic powder, and then a dash of hot pepper sauce for a little kick (or more if you’d like).
I then stirred up all that goodness and added the chicken back to the skillet, reduced to a simmer and covered, so that it could cook all the way through. While the chicken was simmering, I brought some water to boil for the regular angel hair pasta (for my children I love and don’t force to eat all the zucchini, though I make them try a little at least). And I started cooking the spiralized zucchini and onion. I heated olive oil in a skillet, tossed in all the veggies, and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little lemon pepper seasoning – more because the lemon pepper seasoning is my favorite to use on zucchini than because I thought it would work well with this particular dish. Once it’s cooked down quite a bit and is mostly translucent, I also add some Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. I just think it makes the dish taste a little like fried zucchini, but at least a little healthier!
The angel hair pasta and zucchini pasta cook up very quickly! I checked on the doneness of my chicken using my tried-and-true method of seeing whether or not I can cut it with my plastic serving spoon.
And that’s it! All ready to move it to my plate and eat up. My plate was strictly the zucchini and onion pasta with the delicious chicken and sauce, but the kids had angel hair pasta with theirs too. I’m thinking I need to remember to make this recipe more often because as I said, it was the BEST MEAL EVER!
Sweet and Spicy Chicken with Spiralized Zucchini Pasta
2 lbs. chicken breasts, sliced into pieces
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper to season flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
A couple dashes of hot sauce
2 additional tablespoons olive oil for cooking zucchini and onion
1/2 large zucchini
1 medium onion
Seasoning for vegetables – salt, lemon pepper
2 tablespoons Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1. Preheat skillet to medium heat. Melt butter in olive oil. Season flour with a bit of salt and pepper and then dredge chicken in flour. Cook in skillet until browned.
2. Remove browned chicken from skillet and prepare sauce. Add can of stewed tomatoes (with juice), brown sugar, water, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce to skillet. Stir to combine. Add seasonings to sauce and stir again. Bring sauce to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer and add chicken back to sauce. Cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes until chicken is done.
3. While chicken is cooking, spiralize zucchini and onion. If you do not have a spiralizer, you can slice zucchini and onion into strips. Heat more olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) in another skillet on medium heat and add zucchini and onion. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon pepper to taste. Stir frequently and cook until almost translucent (this is how I prefer my zucchini – if you like yours to be crisper, you can cook for a little less time). Add breadcrumbs and mix before removing from heat.
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