Something Spicy This Way Comes

One of the (few) perks of being the “food” editor (a very small part of my actual title of features editor) at a newspaper is occasionally received a new product in the mail. Before the age of email, such packages used to arrive with more frequency; now they are few and far between.

 One of the companies that still continues to provide samples is McCormick & Co. — the maker of spices. Every once in a while a box will arrive with an assortment of spices to replenish my spice cupboard.

Most recently, McCormick sent out an assortment of its Recipe Inspirations line, which I shared with some of my co-workers, taking a couple home for myself.

Last week, when Hubby Bryan and I were facing the “what’s for supper” dilemma, I pulled out one of the McCormick packages which feature an assortment of premeasured spices and a corresponding recipe. This particular recipe was for Spanish Chicken Skillet. Other varieties include Chicken Marsala, Shrimp and Pasta Primavera, Quesadilla Casserole, Asian Sesame Salmon, to name a few.

The Spanish skillet was quite tasty, and the beauty of this product is that you can save the collectible recipe card and re-create it with spices from your own cupboard, so here it is:

Spanish Chicken Skillet

Mix ¼ cup flour with 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon thyme leaves and ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper. Sprinkle 1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 6 serving-size pieces (we cut ours into strips) with 2 tablespoons lf the seasoned flour.

Cook chicken in 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium-high heat for 3 minutes per side or until browned. Remove meat from skillet. Add 1 large green or red belle pepper, cut into thin strips, and 1 large onion, cut into ½-inch thick wedges; cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender.

Stir in one 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained, ½ cup chicken broth or dry sherry and remaining seasoned flour. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Stir in ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste), if desired. Return chicken to skillet. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.