Chicken Recipe for Two by Bev Bennett
Just as accessories add sparkle to a basic wardrobe, flavorful toppings make everyday entrees mouthwatering.
For example, you know how salsa, the combination of tomatoes, chilies, herbs and spices, adds heat and tang to grilled chicken, beef or pork.
Other condiments are just as welcome, adding sophisticated flavor to plain dishes.
Harissa, a Tunisian sauce, is often paired with couscous. However, this combination of chilies, garlic, olive oil and spices, is excellent in soups as well.
The Mediterranean countries, home to olives, capers and tomatoes, provide delicious inspiration when you want to dress up meat or chicken.
Take tapenade, a specialty in Southern France. The dish combines the ingredients of the region -- anchovies, capers, olives, olive oil and seasonings -- blended into a paste. You can spread it on bread, slather it over grilled fish or chicken or even toss it with pasta.
Caponata, originating in Sicily, is a cooked mixture of eggplant, onion, tomato, anchovies, olives, capers and pine nuts. It has a mellow taste that's welcome as an appetizer or side dish.
Both recipes are open to adaptation and streamlining, or you can start with ingredients from the Mediterranean region and create your own flavor accents.
For example, you can omit anchovies if you're not a fan and opt for olives instead.
As long as the resulting recipe is mellow and herbal tasting, you've got a winning addition to chicken or fish.
Sauteed Chicken with Mediterranean Relish Recipe
Makes 2 servings.
- 325 calories;
- 13.5 grams total fat;
- 39 grams protein;
- 10 grams carbohydrates;
- 88.5 milligrams cholesterol;
- 1617 milligrams sodium and
- 1.5 grams dietary fiber.
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped kalamata olives
- 2 teaspoons capers
- 2 teaspoons pine nuts
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper or to taste
- 1 large or 2 small chicken breast halves, flattened 1/2-inch thick
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet. Add shallot and cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until tender. Stir in tomatoes, olives, capers, pine nuts, thyme and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until tomatoes are pulpy. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Wipe out skillet. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in skillet. Lightly coat chicken with flour. Place chicken in skillet and brown over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken. Pour in broth and scrape up any browned bits in skillet. Return chicken to skillet. Baste with pan juices. Cook over low heat about 2 to 3 minutes per side or until cooked through.
If using one large chicken breast half, cut into 2 serving pieces. Arrange on 2 plates. Top each with the pan juices. Either spoon the tomato mixture over the chicken or serve it on the side.
Bev Bennett is the author of "30-Minute Meals for Dummies ," John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003.)
(c) 2009, Bev Bennett. Distributed by Tribune Media Services Inc.
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