Since I moved to the Big Apple in January, I’ve had some definite low points. Like that time my dogs decided that peeing in the snow wasn’t fun, but peeing inside totally was. Which, you know, led to a hefty dry cleaning bill for my couch cushions, and an entire new bed set complete with a waterproof mattress cover to ward off dogs who are acting like assholes.
You see how I said “acting like,” so I didn’t really call them assholes? That was strategic. It means I can still call myself a good mom.
Anyway, the snow is gone, and so is the romantic aroma of dog urine in my apartment. And in more ways than just that, the New York City tides are finally started to turn in my favor.
I’ve diversified my friend groups. I finally found a favorite brunch spot. Best of all, the weather has found a delightful balance between “I can’t feel my feet” and “I can feel every drop of my back sweat.” It is crisp and lovely, and it has me daydreaming of autumn. It will be my first fall in the city, and I could not be more excited.
I imagine myself strolling through Central Park in a chunky sweater and scarf, holding a steaming cup of hot chocolate in one hand and a dashingly charming young man in the other. Or more likely, a steaming cup of hot chocolate and two dog leashes. We’ll see.
But while summer is still here, I wanted to share this amazing recipe with you guys. I expected this to be light and refreshing when I was cooking it, but I had no idea the extent to which I would adore this dish. It is probably one of my favorite things I have ever posted.
Can we all just take a moment to appreciate that the previous statement includes things like s’mores cookies and French 75s? This is meaningful, people.
So before the summer is over, I highly recommend that you take advantage of the market’s gigantic bell peppers and make this dish. I promise you will not regret it. BONUS: neither will your thighs. And we should all make a vow to spend the next few weeks that we have to wear swimsuits trying to look more like Ciara.
I mean it’s not happening. But we can try.
Simple Lemon Chicken with Peppers
(serves 2-3 with leftovers, or 4 for a light meal)
- 1 lb thin-sliced chicken breast
- 2 bell peppers (I used one yellow, one red), cut into strips
- 1 c grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 c arugula
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
Combine chicken, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, garlic, and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a bowl. Coat evenly. Set aside.
Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium. Add bell peppers, cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for another 2-3 minutes until tomatoes are warm and some are slightly charred on the sides. Remove mixture from pan, set aside.
Heat another Tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Add chicken and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until the internal temperature reaches 165 and no pink is left in the center. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 of the lemon over the chicken.
Drizzle arugula with remaining 2 Tbs olive oil, and toss to coat. Divide evenly among serving plates. Top with warm chicken, then bell pepper and tomato mixture. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Squeeze remaining lemon juice over the assembled serving plates.