Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mediterranean Chicken

Time for another recipe! I love making this chicken because it is easy, flavorful, and healthy. I can literally toss this together in minutes. It is also versatile, because you can add things you like and take out things you don't. You can serve it with a variety of things, including tossing it with some pasta or just serve it with a side of veggies. I also like to use the leftovers (if there are any!) on salads the next day. My husband does not like chicken usually, but because you halve the chicken breasts, they stay moist and flavorful.

Mediterranean Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
2 tbs. olive oil
Black pepper, to taste
2 chopped roma tomatoes
1/2 c. diced red onion
1/2 c. halved, pitted kalamata olives
1/2 c. prepared pesto sauce (if I don't have any homemade, I use Mezetta Napa Valley brand)
1 c. crumbled feta cheese

Heat the 2 tbs. olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan.
Saute the diced red onion for three to five minutes.
Take the halved chicken breasts and spread the pesto evenly on one side of each piece.
Place chicken, pesto-side down, in the frying pan.
Spreada the remaining pesto on the other side of the chicken.
Sprinkle black pepper over that side (I am sparing with the pepper, since I feel as if the pesto has plenty of flavor).
Saute chicken until brown on first side (about 5 - 7 minutes) and then flip.
Add kalamata olives and tomatoes.
When chicken is done (about another 4 - 5 minutes), remove from heat and sprinkle with feta cheese.

(If I am serving it mixed with pasta, I will cook the pasta while I cook the chicken and reserve 1/3 c. of the hot pasta water. I then slice the chicken and pour the whole thing into the pasta pot and re-add the starchy water - if you salt your pasta water, then this adds great flavor and more "sauce," though it is still a drier pasta in terms of the amount of sauce. I also wait to add the feta until after I have mixed it with the pasta. I have used angel hair and penne and both are good.)

Things that I have added to this:

Fresh spinach (yummy - just add it in when you add the olives and tomatoes)
Red and green pepper (saute with onions)
Cucumber (added at the very end with the feta and then served with tzatziki and pita bread instead of pasta)
I have also made it with prawns and that was pretty amazing, too!

Things that I often take out:

The onion as M doesn't like it. I just add more olives and tomatoes.
I also have used other types of tomatoes and onions, it doesn't seem to alter the taste much.

Once, I left out the olives (I didn't realize I didn't have any) and I was surprised by how much of a difference they made. I wouldn't recommend leaving those out unless you don't like them.


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