Simple chicken. Explosive salad. Joy for both cook and guests.
Inspired by my love of Italian cooking, this recipe is layered with flavor and easy on the eyes.
Fried chicken breasts in butter and olives
- 3 whole skinless, boneless breasts, or 6 halves (see Chicken tip below)
- 2 cups flour (see Flour tip below) seasoned with 1 T. Black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 T. minced flat leaf (Italian) parsley
- Also, the sauce ingredients (see below)
Chicken tip: Slide the breasts into a large kitchen bag, or between two pieces of wax paper. Hit them with a rolling pin or a kitchen mallet to a uniform thickness. This ensures even cooking, makes the dish cook faster, and the pounding is quick as a hare. Hey, a time-saver and quality assurance, all in the form of a rolling pin.
Flour tip: Flour will soften the flavor edges of the spices you use, so if you're feeling adventurous, or want to just add dimension and personality to the spices, throw in a little onion powder or cayenne pepper. Also, do not salt the flour! You'll get brininess from the capers in the sauce, so you won't need it.
- Heat oil in your largest EuroCAST skillet over medium heat.
- Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour that you seasoned with pepper (remember, no salt!).
- Slide gently into the heated oil.
- Cook each piece until browned on each side, 3-4 minutes. Turn.
- When done browning on both sides, move chicken to a plate to make the sauce.
- Pour out the oil in the skillet and gently wipe away any browned flour bits.
For the sauce
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 6-7 oil-packed anchovy fillets
- 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup pitted olives (green, black, or a combination, as you fancy)
- 1/4 cup capers (non-pareil capers have excellent size, flavor, and texture for this dish)
- Combine butter, tomatoes, and anchovies into the warm skillet.
- Use the back of wooden spoon or silicone spatula to mash the anchovies into the butter. They will break down quickly. You'll be smashing some tomatoes along the way. It's all good.
- Add the olives and capers.
- Put all these ingredients into your large sauté pan, cook over medium heat until the butter is melted and the anchovies have incorporated themselves.
- Add the fried chicken breasts back into the skillet and baste them with the sauce.
- Right before serving, add 2 T. minced flat leaf parsley. You can either fold them in at the end of the basting step, or plate and then top.
Serve over green herby salad with greens like arugula, chives, dill, and fennel fronds, dressed lightly with excellent olive oil and and a squeeze of lemon.
A glorious PASTA salad is within your reach.
What makes a salad truly amazing? When done right, they are a feast for the eyes as much as they are for the taste buds. And texture, when done right, makes each forkful demand the next.
Enter my farfellini salad. Farfalla, in Italian, means bowtie (sometimes people call farfalla pasta bowtie pasta), and so farfellini just means tiny bowties.
Not just your run-of-the-mill pasta salad, this is gorgeous, fresh, unctuous, and deliriously flavorful.
- 1 lb farfellini -- or other wee pasta shape -- cooked and rinsed. Mix with 1/4 cup good quality olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper
- Root vegetables, scrubbed, peeled, and halved
Roast all at 400 degrees Fahrenheit on our roasting pan or the top of the double-roaster for 1 hour, or until fork tender. Let cool and coarsely chop.
Slip garlic from their skins, smash and add to the cooked pasta and toss everything to integrate the flavors.
In the version here, I roasted beets, parsnips, turnips and fennel and one whole head of garlic in its skin. After roasting, slice up the garlic head, remove the skins, squeezing the roasted goodness out of the cloves. Fun. Fragrant. Sweet and rich.
- 6-8 oz crumbled goat cheese
- 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan
- 12 oz or more sliced salami, mortadella, and/or prosciutto rolled up like a beach blanket and sliced thin into ribbons.
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup minced chives
Mix to incorporate and let sit to blend an additional 30 minutes.
Taste for seasoning before serving. Then, at the last moment, squeeze lemon juice over the entire salad. Ah, lemon juice. It adds the kind of mysterious sparkle and refreshing aroma that makes this salad (and lots of other dishes) just sing when they get to the table.