Stuffed peppers are a great homey fall supper. I made them a few weeks ago and my recipe is just about the same as my mom used to make, comfort food for sure. My garden produced more bell peppers….not sure I wanted the same flavor so I went looking for a different take. I found this vegetarian recipe by Robert Irvine on Food Network. I changed it by adding ground chicken and removing some veggies to make room for that chicken. The result was just a great combination of flavors and very satisfying. I will put my version here. If you want it vegetarian look for his recipe on the website. It got five stars and they are well deserved. I guess you could use any ground meat for this recipe. I got my dark meat ground chicken at Valley Farm Markets in Bethlehem.
I don’t cook with tarragon that often but it really makes the flavor of this dish so delightful and different. Just try it.
Notes: I used cooked brown rice, the original choice was wild rice. You can use whatever rice floats your boat or is in your pantry; just cook it and cool somewhat before mixing with the other filling ingredients. This is a naturally gluten free meal and I never got tired of it – ate all the servings up in a week and know I will be making it again for sure.
Angie’s Italian Stuffed Peppers makes six
6 green, red or yellow bell peppers; nice sized
3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb ground chicken; dark meat if you can find it
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves minced
1-2 cups diced summer squash
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
½ cup diced red pepper
2 tbsp. tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. fresh tarragon chopped
½ cup Asiago cheese freshly grated (Parmesan would also work)
Cut the lids off the peppers, discard seeds, I cut about ½ inch down the pepper so the center and stem stays part of the lid. Heat a cup of water in a big pot with a steamer in it. Add the peppers and their lids, cook about 8 minutes, remove lid and let cool.
In a large skillet pour half the olive oil, heat, add the chicken and cook until no longer pink. After it is cooking a couple minutes add the onions and garlic. Cook a minute or two and add the diced squash and red pepper. Do not overcook the squash. I used a firm variety of squash(tromboni) so it stayed together and didn’t get mushy. Add the tomato paste and tomato; don’t add all the juice in the can of tomatoes; reserve about half for adding to the baking pan later on. Stir and cook until onions are soft. Total cooking time; no more than ten or twelve minutes. Heat the oven: 375 degrees.
Dump the cooled rice in a big bowl, add the skillet’s contents. Season with salt and pepper to taste and fresh tarragon. Mix up gently. Stuff the cooled and drained peppers, do not pack in filling. Put a bit of filling in the bottom of a large oval baking dish that will hold your six peppers and stand the stuffed peppers upright in there. Sprinkle them with the grated cheese, put the pepper lids on the peppers, I would add that reserved tomato juice from the can to the stuffing loose in the pan to keep it moist. Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy