Monday, May 17, 2010

Chicken Breasts in Tomato-Caper Sauce














If you look at the plate on the right, I took great pains to keep sauce off the rice on Younger Son's serving because he likes his rice plain.  No salt, no butter/margarine/flavor whatsoever. But tonight, when he took seconds of both the chicken AND rice, he ladled sauce all over the rice.  The sauce is THAT good (she said modestly)!

Speaking of rice, start up the chicken as soon as you start the water for the rice.  Both should be done at about the same time.

It's important to pound the breasts flat.  It breaks up the fibers and makes them very tender.  If you have never tried this before, do it now.  I'll wait.  It really makes a difference.  TIP ALERT! If you don't have a mallet, use the back of a small saucepan.  Let out your aggressions!  Pretend you're a 2 year old!  Woo-hoo!

The chickens that gave their lives for dinner must have been, um, how shall I say, well-endowed.  Despite the pounding, they remained quite plump.  Cooked up tender and moist anyway.  As you will see in the recipe (as soon as I shut up and post it) I used a family pack of 6 breasts (the local Try-n-Save had a sale on kosher chicken), but I didn't bother to adjust the quantities of the rest of the ingredients.  There was still plenty of sauce for everyone.  

After you re-add the partially cooked chicken to the skillet to finish cooking, check to make sure that the sauce is gently simmering, NOT boiling.  Boiling will toughen the chicken.

Even though it isn't necessary to this recipe, I used my grill pan rather than a skillet, because I like the pretty grill marks it makes on whatever I'm searing.  As it turned out, once the chicken is plated and sauced, you can't see the pretty grill marks.  Oh, well.  Just take my word for it, the chicken was mighty purdy.

Chicken Breasts in Tomato-Caper Sauce
Serves 4

1 Tbl. olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 tsp. minced garlic (bottled is ok)
1 can (14.5 oz.) petit diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tbl. drained capers
3 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbl. chopped fresh basil
Cooked rice, enough for your family

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat.  When pan is hot, add olive oil, wait 10 seconds, then add chicken in a single layer.














Sear about 3-4 minutes per side (chicken will be quite pink and raw in the middle).  Transfer chicken to a covered dish; keep warm.

Add garlic to skillet.  Stir for 15 seconds, then stir in tomatoes with their juice, wine, capers, balsamic vinegar and basil.














Bring to a boil, then return chicken to skillet.  Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and let chicken gently simmer for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked throughout.














Plate chicken and rice.  Spoon sauce over chicken, and the rice, if desired.  Serve hot.

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