Monday, September 14, 2009

Tapenade-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Crispy-skinned juicy chicken with a side of saffron rice and sauteed Italian squash.

Being a fan of nearly any sort of olives, I thought Rodney would love, love, love this chicken. That's why I picked this recipe. That, and because we have a ton of Kalamata olives courtesy of my Costco shopping tendencies.

I didn't do too many alterations to this recipe, just minor ones. Regardless, you might want to check out the original recipe at Cooking Pleasures. Just click the link below.

Also, if you were wondering what the heck I did with those four chickens I bought, I cut them up while the tapenade flavors were blending. I cut the drums, thighs, breasts and wings from the backbones, bagged them and put them in the freezer. Since our freezer was jammed at that point and I already had two chicken frames frozen, I didn't bother saving the backs and innards for my future attempt at chicken stock.

1 c pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured olives, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp capers, chopped
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
4 bone-in skin-on chicken breast halves, patted dry
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine all ingredients but chicken in medium bowl. Let stand 1 hour to blend flavors.

Heat oven to 350°F. Line small rimmed baking sheet with foil. Loosen skin of chicken breasts. Stuff one-fourth of the tapenade beneath skin of each breast. Rub outside of chicken with any oil remaining from tapenade and/or spray them down with EVOO from a MISTO.

Heat large nonstick skillet and about 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat until hot.

Cook chicken in batches, skin-side down, 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown, turn and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.

First two boobs in, service side down.

When the boobs were flipped, the oil smoked a little but smoking subsided shortly thereafter.
When I put the second set of boobs on, smoking was fairly prominent. Be sure to dry the chicken of any water before you spray with oil and finally introduce them to the hot oil.

Place on baking sheet.

Bake 40 minutes or until no longer pink in center.

Pile the boobs away from heat; let stand a few minutes before plating and serving.

I said earlier that Rodney is a freak for olives of almost any kind. Get this: he didn't care for this chicken because it had capers in it. Say what?! Capers taste and feel like tiny little olives to me. I thought he'd appreciate them. Thankfully, I didn't buy a lifetime-supply sized jar of capers from Costco.

As for me, I thought this chicken was pretty good. Crispy skin, juicy meat.  Amazingly enough, the saltiness of the olives didn't kill the chicken. It was slightly salty, but not nearly what I'd expected it to be. And I didn't even notice the capers. Maybe I have an idiot palate?

Cost: I'm feeling sort of lazy here, so these digits are SWAG:
  • chicken: $3.50
  • olives: $1
  • capers: $0.5
  • other stuff: $1
Total: $6 for 4 servings. If I was a bigger fan of olives, I'd try this again minus the capers. But I'm not. So I won't.