Friday, May 20, 2011

Chicken Cutlets with Bell Pepper Ragout

Although this recipe calls for sliced chicken breasts, I love the convenience of chicken tenderloins that come frozen in a big bag.  After defrosting, what I usually do is pound them down.  Another variation I would make to this recipe is leave out the capers and I would add sliced mushrooms.

1 1/4 lb. ripe plum tomatoes (6 to 8), cored, halved lengthwise, and seeded 
1 medium red or orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch pieces 
1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch pieces 
1 small yellow onion, cut into medium dice 
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1/4 tsp. piment d’Espelette or 1/2 tsp. cayenne 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1 medium clove garlic, mashed to a paste with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 
3/4 cup all-purpose flour 
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, sliced into cutlets  
2 Tbs. nonpareil (small) capers, rinsed and patted dry

Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler element and heat the broiler on high.

Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with foil. Put the tomatoes cut side up on one side and the peppers and onion on the other side. Drizzle everything with 3 Tbs. of the olive oil and sprinkle with the piment d’Espelette, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Toss the peppers and onions. Broil until the tomatoes are collapsed, about 7 minutes. Flip the tomatoes, toss the peppers and onions, and broil until the tomato skins have large black spots and the peppers and onions are tender, about 5 minutes more.

Use tongs to pull the skins off the tomatoes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to a cutting board. Put the peppers and onions in a large bowl; add the garlic paste. Chop the tomatoes and add to the bowl with the other vegetables. Mix well, season to taste with salt and pepper, and keep warm.

Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Put the flour in a shallow pan. Season the chicken with 1-1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper; dredge in the flour. Working in 2 batches, cook the chicken, flipping once, until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to serving plates. Wipe out the pan. Heat the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and fry the capers over medium-high heat until they pop open and become crisp, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle them over the chicken. Serve with the ragout.

From Fine Cooking 111, pp. 72

photo: Scott Phillips
May 5, 2011

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