breast of chicken

We all look for simple recipes that we can come back to regularly. This is one of my “go to” recipes. Don’t skimp on the anchovies! Adds lots of wonderful Umami and even those who don’t think they like anchovies will be pleasantly surprised. Maybe not tell them that they are in there??

Serves 4

You could of course do this with thighs if you prefer. I’ve specified “airline” breasts here which have the first section of the wing bone attached. Not required but they make a nice presentation. Ask your butcher to trim them for you.

4 boneless, skin on airline chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons thinly sliced peeled garlic
3 (or more) oil packed anchovies, chopped
1/2 cup dry white vermouth
2 cups (1 14.5 ounce can) canned petite diced tomatoes with their juice
2 tablespoons drained capers
1/2 cup meaty black or green olives such as Cerignola, pitted and chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons or so fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs of your choice such as parsley, chives, basil, etc.

Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken skin side down until skin is golden and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn and continue to cook until chicken is just done, 5 minutes more or so depending on thickness. Transfer to a plate.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and just beginning to brown. Add anchovies and stir until they melt. Add vermouth, raise heat to high and cook for a minute or two stirring to scrape up any of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, capers, olives, pepper flakes and lemon juice and bring to a simmer. Adjust lemon and pepper to your taste.

To serve: Return chicken breasts and any juices to the pan nestling them in the sauce, cover and heat thru. Transfer breasts to a platter, spoon sauce over and sprinkle herbs over top.

John Ash © 2011