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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Greek Chicken with Capers, Raisins and Feta


Boy, when I get on a roll, I really run with it. Last week you were inundated with stew recipes, this week we're visiting the Mediterranean. It wasn't intentional. It must have been some subconscious craving for capers and lemons. Hopa! Or I guess if we're in Greece, opa!

Greek Chicken with Capers, Raisins, and Feta

4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1 1/2 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup raisins
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp capers
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
4 thin lemon slices (optional)

1. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; flatter to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Combine the flour and oregano in a shallow dish, dredge chicken in flour mixture.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook for 4 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan, keep warm. Add onion to pan, sauté 2 minutes. Stir in broth, raisins, and juice; cook 3 minutes, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Return chicken to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 8 minutes or until chicken is done. Place chicken on individual plates, and keep warm. Stir capers into sauce and top each chicken breast with 1/3 cup sauce and 1 tablespoon cheese. Garnish with lemon slice, if desired.

The Verdict: Simple ingredients, complex taste. Yum!
Now, for whatever reason, my chicken breasts were not chicken breasts. They were ostrich breasts. Or maybe even pterodactyl breasts. I'm kidding, of course, but when those suckers got pounded out, I had to cut the breast in half again and ended up with six cutlets. Funny, because I was worried that I had three and not four chicken breasts to begin with. But the sauce was plentiful, so there was more than enough for my additional breasts.

The Cooking Light recipe calls for golden raisins, but c'mon, I have a 2-year-old. That means on any given day, I have a 75-pound vat of regular old raisins in my cupboard. I didn't think it made any difference. But cooked raisins, especially when sautéed in a sauce, are the best. They plump up and take on some of the flavors in the dish. And the raisins lend an almost Madeira taste.

The suggested side dishes for this dish were steamed zucchini and curried couscous, both of which I made. You can buy a pre-made package of curried couscous, or simply make some by adding a 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon of allspice to the boiling liquid before adding the dry couscous. (And use a mixture of chicken broth and water rather than water alone; the taste is so much better.)

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