My husband and I both love garlic more than we have any right to. We were looking for a tasty garlic chicken recipe, and this one is a winner. It tastes like restaurant quality and comes together in just minutes in a skillet on the stovetop. We accidentally forgot the parsley, and it was still delicious. The only change we would make is to reduce the capers to 1 tbsp, since neither of us are huge caper fans. Excuse the quality of the photo, my night time photos will be a little “off” until I can get the light in my photo box fixed.
Skillet Chicken Breasts Aglio e Olio
recipe courtesy Lidia Bastianich
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 2 lbs)
3/4 tsp. salt, plus more as needed
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. extra-vigin olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
8 or more large cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 tbsp. tiny capers in brine, drained
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 c. chicken broth, turkey broth, or vegetable broth
1 tbsp. fine dry bread crumbs
3 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Trim the chicken of all fat, skin and connective tissue. Flatten the small, loose flap on the underside of each half against the larger piece to form a neat oval. Sprinkle both sides of each breast with salt, using about 1/2 tsp. in all. Spread the flour on a piece of waxed paper and press and toss each breast to coat lightly on all surfaces; shake off excess.
In a 14-inch skillet or saute pan, heat 2 tbsp. of the oil and the butter over medium heat. When the butter is almost melted, lay the breasts in the pan, with space between them. Let them cook until sizzling without moving. After 2 minutes or so, lift the first breast you put in the pan and check the underside. You want it to be lightly tinged with brown. Cook longer if needed, turning each over when just beginning to color.
Quickly scatter the garlic slices in between the chicken pieces, turn the heat up slightly, shake the pan, and stir the garlic slices to separate. When the garlic has begun to sizzle, sprinkle the hot pepper flakes in a hot spot, toast for a minute; then sprinkle capers in several hot spots around the pan. Give the skillet a few good shakes to distribute the seasonings, and run the hot juices all around the breast.
Raise the heat another notch. When everything’s sizzling hard, pour the vinegar into open spaces and shake the pan to spread it. Let the vinegar sizzle and reduce for 30 seconds or so, then pour in the broth.
Cook on full blast now, quickly bringing the liquid to a boil; drizzle with the remaining 2 tbsp. oil, and sprinkle on 1/4 tsp. salt. Let the sauce bubble and reduce for a couple of minutes, shaking the skillet frequently, then sprinkle the bread crumbs into the sauce (not on the chicken) and stir and shake to mix. Cook, shaking the skillet, until the sauce has the consistency you like. Turn off the heat, sprinkle with parsley, and shake the skillet again. Makes 6 servings.
On the side, we also had another recipe from the same magazine, also by Lidia. I’ve tried to make carbonara with disastrous results over the years, and this is so far the easiest and most successful carbonara-like recipe I’ve had. Quite delicious as well. We had to substitute spaghetti because we were out of linguine.
Linguine with Bacon and Onions
recipe courtesy Lidia Bastianich
6 oz. slab bacon (we used double-smoked from Thurn’s), with rind removed
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
2 large yellow onions, sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 c. hot chicken stock or broth
3 egg yolks
1 lb. linguine (we used spaghetti)
1 c. freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Coarsely ground black pepper
Cut bacon into 1/4-inch thick slices, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, just until lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
If there is more than 3-4 tablespoons of fat in the skillet, pour off the excess. If there is less than that, add enough olive oil to measure that amount. Add the onions and cook until wilted but still crunchy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil, and adjust the heat to a lively simmer. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Whisk 1/2 cup of liquid into the egg yolks. Return egg yolk mixture to skillet.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Ladle off about a cup of the pasta-cooking water. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and add sauce. Heat through, stirring to coat pasta with sauce. Season with salt. Add enough pasta-cooking water so that the sauce coats the pasta. Remove from heat; add grated cheese, then pepper; toss well. Makes 6 servings.