Friday, January 27, 2012

Italian Garden Chicken

Italian Garden Chicken

We all need more quick meal ideas.  Especially those that look a little fancy - like you've been in the kitchen for hours.  

In fact, gentlemen, in case you need yet another reminder, Valentines Day is coming up.  Even if you don't cook, this is a great meal to pepeare for your sweet!  She will love it!  You do not have to tell her that I came up with the recipe.   Go ahead, guys, take the credit!  I'll never tell.   ;.)

Since there is no onion or garlic in this recipe, it's perfect for "date night." Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

It's thin sliced chicken breast seasoned with salt, pepper and oregano, braised with vermouth-soaked sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, capers and lemon juice, topped with a reduction made with -- you guessed it, more vermouth!

Steam a few green beans like I did here, and you've got dinner in no time flat!

Here is tonight's easy and healthy recipe:

Italian Garden Chicken

Serves 4

8 thin sliced Chicken Breasts (approximately 1  1/4 pounds)
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon dried Oregano
1 cup Julianne Sliced Sun Dried Tomatoes (not oil packed)
2 cups Extra Dry Vermouth, divided

Butter Flavored Cooking Spray2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
Juice of one medium Lemon12 Artichoke Heart Quarters (packed in water), halved
1 tablespoon Capers, rinsed and chopped
2 tablespoons Cold Butter

Optional:  Italian Cheese Blend for passing at table

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Season chicken with salt, pepper, and oregano.

Reconsitute sun dried tomato in one cup of the vermouth by heating it slowly on the stove.  The wine should reduce by half and the tomatoes should plump slightly.

Spray skillet with cooking spray.  Heat until smoking hot.  Add 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Working in batches, add two chicken breasts to the pan.  Brown on both sides, about 1 1/2 minutes each side.

Remove to a baking dish, also sprayed with cooking spray.  Repeat process with remaining chicken breasts.

Pour sun dried tomato mixture over chicken.  Add lemon juice. 

Bake chicken for approximatley 8 or 9 minutes until the chicken is completely cooked and juices run clear.

Remove chicken from oven and keep warm.

Pour the sun dried tomato and pan juices into a sauce pan along with the remaining cup of vermouth.  Add artichoke hearts and capers to pan.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, approximately three or four minutes until mixture reduces. 

Add cold butter one pat at a time to thicken the sauce.

Spoon sauce over chicken.

Cheese is optional.

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