This is a recipe that I adapted from one I found in a Jaime Oliver magazine a while back. I remember loving the picture that accompanied the dish, and while I no longer have the recipe on-hand I did remember enough about the elements to pretty successfully recreate it here (I think).
I turned to this dish recently as a means to use up a bunch of fresh rosemary I had on hand. My sister had given me an potted rosemary plant over the holidays, and by what I can only describe as a Christmas miracle, I haven't killed it yet! With our days now growing longer it is exhibiting some sort of growth spurt and I find myself harvesting copious amounts of fresh leaves every few days.
The two keys to the dish are the robust tomato based sauce, and the fresh drizzle of rosemary flecked EVOO that finishes off each chicken filet. I used small organic skinless breasts in this dish, but if you prefer, use skin-on boneless breasts or thighs. The sauce is as simple as tossing whatever kind of canned tomatoes you have, with some onion, garlic, sliced caper berries (or capers), pitted kalamata or black oil-cured olives, and handful of crunchy, rustic croutons (for sort of a panzanella feel), and a splash of your best EVOO.
The chicken is cooked quickly in a grill pan, weighed down by another heavy skillet, simply seasoned with salt and pepper. While the chicken cooks and then rests, the sauce is brought together in an adjacent pan, the croutons going in just before serving to preserve some of their crunch.
This dish is great with a pasta side, some simple – smashed baby spuds, or your favorite rice. Mangia!
Cheers – Steve
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 28 ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes (or a mix)
- 2 tablespoons capers (or 5 caper berries, sliced)
- 1 tablespoon finely minced rosemary leaves mixed with 1 tablespoon EVOO
- 4 sprigs rosemary for garnish
- a large fistful of pitted kalamata olives
- a large fistful of rustic croutons
- a glug of your best EVOO
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Choose a grill pan that will easily accommodate the 4 pieces of chicken, then another (heavy) skillet just slightly smaller. Wrap the bottom of the smaller skillet in foil, you will use this pan to weigh down the chicken while it cooks. Place the grill pan over medium heat. Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper and brush some canola oil onto the grill pan. When the pan is hot, place the chicken breasts in and cover them with the foil wrapped pan. Cook for about 7-8 minutes each side (if they are huge breasts, a little longer perhaps) until just cooked through. Remove the chicken to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a separate skillet saute the onion in a little olive oil until just starting to take color. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another two minutes. Add the tomatoes, capers, and olives and let cook another 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.
- When the chicken has rested, add a glug of good EVOO to the sauce and stir to incorporate. Toss in the croutons and swirl to coat them with the sauce. Divide and spoon the sauce evenly on four plates, top with the chicken, then spoon some of the rosemary oil over each breast. Decorate each plate with a rosemary sprig and serve.