Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Keeping a Breast of it All

Pollo al Limone con Olive Verdi e Capperi
Lemon Chicken with Green Olives & Capers

How do you transform that simple, single chicken breast you were going to grill and have with a side of salad into this incredible dish here? Well- truth be told- it was probably a lot easier than you think!

What looks like a lot of food here is as I said, one chicken breast and two small potatoes, a couple of pickled onions, 1 fresh Spring onion, half a lemon, a handful of olives and a handful of capers. So it really is not a lot of food- but together with a couple of fresh herbs,  it makes for a very flavorful, filling and satisfying meal... and one that may be a little more interesting than the regular grilled chicken breast after all!

Start off by slicing your potato into bite-sized slices and boiling them for 10 minutes in salted water. This will give you time to get busy with the chicken! Heat a little olive oil, add crushed garlic and a couple of sprigs of rosemary and fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes from each side. Easy. Remove from the frying pan and fry the lemon slices for 2-3 minutes too until they become golden and begin to caramelize from their own juices and the chicken juices in the pan.

Now drain the potatoes and add them to the pan, along with the chicken and a good splash of both red wine vinegar and water. You can use any vinegar you prefer actually, but this is what I used. Add a good sprinkle of oregano, cover and allow to steam for 2-3 minutes. This will loosen up any flavors that have burned-into the pan and all of this will get soaked up by the potatoes and chicken...mmm!

Remove the lid and add the capers and olives. I seasoned with some of my now almost legendary "Salt of the Earth" mix- but you can make a simple version for this dish by grinding salt, pepper, a little sugar, rosemary, sichuan pepper, lemon and lime zest with your mortar and pestle. Set the breast to one side and transfer the other ingredients to a fire-proof dish. Arrange nicely and then slice the chicken breast and arrange it on top. now add the pickled onions and a last sprinkle of oregano leaves, drizzle with honey lightly and bake in a hot oven for 5 minutes and then turn on the broiler for 2-3 minutes towards the end to get some great color in there... perfect! And the best thing is that this tastes wonderful both hot and cold- which makes it an excellent Summer dish! Hope you like it!

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