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Friday, 30 September 2011

Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Cherry Tomatoes, Olives, Feta, and Mint

There are at least six different types of cheese in my fridge at all times. Extra old cheddar, cambozola or basic blue, mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, goats cheese (likely infused with something fruity or herby), and feta. If I let myself, I would eat cheese on everything.

This dish brings Greek influences with it’s feta, olives, and cherry tomatoes. Having not married a Greek myself, although some of my friends are so lucky, I’ve had to figure out and get words of wisdom from books, online sources, and bug my Greek friends for guarded family recipes.

This one was taken from a great cookbook, “America’s Test Kitchen: Light & Healthy 2010”.

Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Cherry Tomatoes, Olives, Feta, and Mint
Makes for 4.  If desired, basil can be substituted for mint. Whole lot of amazing.
Prep time - approximately 30 minutes. 

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 tsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (fresh ones from the deli section are best)
2 TBSP water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 ounce crumbled feta cheese (about 1/4 cup)
¼ cup fresh shredded mint (can be substituted for basil)

For chicken:

Spread the flour in a shallow dish. Pat chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  
Lightly dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any extra.  
Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.  
Carefully lay the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook well browned on the first side, about 6-8 minutes.  
Flip the chicken and reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the chicken is not pink in the middle and white and juicy.  
Transfer chicken to a platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest while making the relish.  

For the relish:

Add the garlic to the oil (you may need to add a little extra oil) and return to medium heat, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  
Stir in tomatoes, olives, and water, and cook scraping up any browned bits until the tomatoes are just softened, about 2 minutes.  
Stir in any accumulated chicken juice and season with salt and pepper to taste - but remember that feta cheese is salty so not too much salt! 
Plate the chicken and pour the relish over the chicken breasts, sprinkle with feta and mint to serve. 

It must, if at all possible, be drank with a glass of wine while you pretend you are sitting on an island in Greece. Opa!

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I need something to make this taste a little more sweet ... leave a message! :)