Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sauteed Chicken Breasts Recipe with Olive and Caper Sauce

Sauteed Chicken with Olive and Caper Sauce
Not too long ago Simona of Briciole wrote about a type of pâté di olive she uses as a topping for bread. For some reason, the idea of that combination fixed itself in my mind, where I imagined it as a topping for sauteed chicken breasts, and nothing would do except for me to try it. Of course, I loved it; what's not to like about the combination of Kalamata olives, capers, onion, and thyme with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar? I did add some parsley to the mix as well, and changed the proportions just the tiniest bit. I know Simona will not mind because she realizes how I rarely follow recipes the way they're written; and I think my version still has the spirit of her recipe.

This would be another recipe that would fit the requirements for next week's Doubly Delicious Two Year Anniversary of Weekend Herb Blogging where we're asking bloggers to send us a recipe featuring at least one vegetable and one herb. In the meantime, follow that link above and make your prediction about what the favorite herb and favorite vegetable of 2007 will be and you might win two fantastic cookbooks. Official voting for favorite vegetable and favorite herb, as well as the WHB Anniversary week starts Monday October 8. (Send this week's submissions to Haalo at Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once. Here is how to contact her.) Now, here's how I turned Simona's olive spread into a flavorful topping for chicken breasts.

Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Olive-Caper Sauce
(Makes four servings, recipe for Olive-Caper Sauce adapted from pâté di olive at Briciole.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
olive oil for sauteeing chicken
poultry season to rub on chicken breasts (I like Penzeys poultry seasoning.)

Sauce Ingredients:
3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
2 T chopped red onion or shallots
2 T capers
1 T fresh thyme (or use 1 tsp. dried thyme)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T extra virgin olive oil

Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts. Rub chicken on both sides with small amount of poultry seasoning and let come to room temperature while you make olive sauce.

(I used a food processor, but you could use a blender or chop the ingredients by hand for this sauce if you don't have one.)

Put Kalamata olives in food processor fitted with steel blade and pulse a few times until olives are coarsely chopped. Add onion, capers, thyme, balsamic vinegar, and parsley. Pulse about 20 seconds, until ingredients are well combined. Remove sauce to a bowl and stir in olive oil. (You can add a bit more olive oil if the sauce seems too thick, but I didn't need to.)

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. (Pans which aren't non-stick will give the best browning.) Put chicken breasts into the pan, top side down and cook 5-6 minutes, or until top is well browned. Turn chicken over and cook 2-3 minutes more on second side. Chicken is done when it feels firm, but not hard to the touch.

Serve hot chicken breasts with olive-caper sauce spooned over. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for about a week if you manage to have any leftovers.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This chicken and sauce combination would be a great main dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase one, eat it with Mary's Perfect Salad and Braised Cauliflower with Garlic and Anchovies. For phase two or three you could switch the cauliflower for Roasted Butternut Squash with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar.

More Delicious Dishes with Olives or Capers:
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Pan-Grilled Steak with Olive Sauce
Grilled Salmon with Sun-Dried Tomato, Olive, and Caper Relish
Chicken Piccata Recipe with Fried Capers
Chicken with Roasted Lemons, Green Olives, and Capers
Chicken Marbella from The Perfect Pantry
Chicken Marbella from Simply Recipes
Fig and Black Olive Tapenade from David Lebovitz
Caponata Siciliana from Gastronomy Domine
Caponata di Melanzane from In Praise of Sardines
Alex's Baked Chicken Mediterranean from Karina's Kitchen
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  1. This is exactly the kind of dish I like! And I think you balance the flavours brilliantly too.

  2. Oh yes, please! Olives + capers = one of my favorite flavor combos. This sauce would be so fab on pasta, Kalyn. Thanks for giving my chicken recipe a shout-out. :) xoxo

  3. This looks great and reminds me that I need to buy some capers!

  4. Kalyn, I make a tapenade like this and put it on cold poached salmon, too. Seems that it won't work, but it does. Instead of the capers, try some preserved lemon, too. That works particularly well with fish.

  5. Capers!! I love capers. Why do so many people resist them? Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Ilva, thanks. Your food always looks wonderful, so I take that as a big compliment!

    Karina,new photo of you! Thanks, and yes, I think this would go well on just about anything.

    Anali, Costco! That's where I buy them in the big jars.

    Lydia, it sounds great on salmon to me. Note to self: get some preserved lemons! Yes, I know you can make your own but I think I've come to terms with the fact that I'm not going to be making them!

    Mrs. G, no caper resisting around here. I think capers are wonderful!

  7. Thanks for noticing- guess where it was taken (that's why I am so happy}. Hint: Rand would know. ;) xoxo

  8. Karina, I'm guessing somewhere by the ocean! Am I right?

  9. Kalyn, I'm positively salivating, looking at that fantastic dish. Love the colours, and I'm also a big fan of olives and capers. Can also see how it would work with salmon, as Lydia mentioned.

  10. I need to buy capers too! I can't be caught without them, because then I can't make this recipe. :)

  11. I can see why you couldn't get it out of your mind... Now it's stuck in mind and I won't be able to get kalamata olives for a bit. For some reason only one market here carries them, and then not always, sigh..... Plain black just wouldn't be the same...

  12. That looks good. Now I want to try capers again.

  13. Olives and capers - YUM!!!! I am all about it!

  14. Anything with olives and capers in it has to be good. I am a huge fan of tapenade so anything even remotely close to that sounds good to me.

  15. Thank you, Kalyn! I am so honored that you took my little recipe and added some of your magic creativity to make a delicious dish. I am sure that with this recipe there won't be any leftover to speak of.

  16. Looks delicious Ive just started cooking properly so I am looking forward to trying this out


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