Chicken Breast Mediterranean
Does anyone have a recipe that made his or her significant other fall in love with them? Twenty years ago I made this recipe, as well as a blueberry swirl cheesecake, for my husband. This dish will forever hold this story.
It was a new relationship, there seemed to be potential, and he would wait for me after he got off work to clean my grill in the coffee shop! You know someone is interested if they’re doing your dirty work. Seriously, it only seemed natural that I cook and bake for him. I was young and brave. Brave enough to try new recipes while entering a new relationship. Twenty years later this dish goes from being a “hey, lets try it” to a family favorite.
The blueberry swirl cheesecake made history that evening as well. The thick, dense texture is broken up with zesty swirls of blueberry puree. New relationship, new dinner and new dessert.
Mike says that evening confirmed I was the one. I am really unsure as to which sealed the deal though. Was it the dinner or the dessert?
Wait, or maybe it was the way I looked in my nineteen nineties sundress 😉 Remember the calf length sundresses, sleeveless, tied in the back, with large tropical flowers for a pattern?
This dish not only presents well, it is fairly easy to make. After pounding the chicken breast, chopping onions, mushrooms and garlic, the rest is a breeze. The light red sauce with olives will give a touch of the Mediterranean. The flavor and tenderness of the chicken breast will make you do a happy dance 😉
The recipe calls for 6 breasts but there are many times I just make 4. No biggie. The flour-coated breasts will be enough to thicken the sauce slightly.
Lets get started!
4 to 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 T. flour
Salt and Pepper
2 to 4 T. butter
2 to 4 T. peanut oil
2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup onion, chopped
8 oz. package of mushrooms, sliced
1 – 28oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes, cut with kitchen scissors or knife
½ cup white wine
½ cup chicken stock
½ cup black olives, pitted and sliced
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1 lb. Vermicelli pasta, cooked
Shaved parmesan, if wanted (of course you do)
Pound the chicken breasts between wax paper. The flat side of a meat mallet or a rolling pin works well. Salt and pepper both sides of breast to taste. Then dredge in flour lightly. Place flour coated breasts on a clean plate or wax paper until ready to sauté.
Over medium heat, add 2 T. butter and 2 T. oil to skillet. Usually I work with a 12- inch cast iron skillet. Two breasts fit comfortably in the pan.
Sauté on medium heat, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the chicken to a clean platter and keep warm. Finish the remaining breasts. You may need a little more butter and oil to finish remaining breasts. Repeat sauté and keep warm.
In the same skillet, sauté the onions a few minutes. Then add the garlic and mushrooms. Sauté just enough to soften the mushrooms. Add the whole tomatoes. I usually rough cut them at this point, right in the pan.
Pour the wine and chicken stock in. Let simmer a few minutes, and then place the sautéed chicken breast in the sauce. Lower the heat to slow and let simmer with a lid. This is where the chicken takes on the flavors in the pan. Let this simmer about 15 minutes. Remove the lid; add the olives and heat through a few minutes.
Cover a large serving dish with the cooked pasta. Arrange the chicken breasts on top. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese.
Adapted from The Best of Florida Cookbook