Cooking From Memory ~ A Recipe Journal

Chicken Breast Saute’ Puttanesca-Style

This is a recipe from the Weight Watchers collection. You can find this recipe and others like it at The amounts in this recipe reflect the original version and the balance of flavors and textures is remarkable. However, in the category of “improving on perfection” (and probably more so because I just can’t leave well-enough alone), I’ve increased the amounts of olives and capers and have also used the caper juice. Keep in mind  that caper juice is rather salty, so you’ll want to be aware of that and adjust accordingly.
On another note: I didn’t know what ‘puttanesca-style’ was so I did a bit of research. Here’s what I found:

■  adjective denoting a pasta sauce of tomatoes, garlic, olives, anchovies, etc.

Ital., from puttana ‘prostitute’ (the sauce is said to have been devised by prostitutes as one which could be cooked quickly between clients’ visits).

© Oxford University Press, 2004

So there you go! Enjoy!

Ingredients ~

  • 4 uncooked boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 10 medium black olives, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained, chopped
  • 1 14-ounce canned tomatoes, diced

Method ~

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and pepper.

When the skillet is hot, add the chicken and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken over and continue cooking just until the chicken is cooked through, and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the center of one chicken breast registers 165°F, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Melt the butter in the same skillet and add the garlic and red pepper flakes; stir over the heat for 30 seconds.

Stir in the olives and capers; pour in the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly until just slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.

Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet; cook until just warmed through, about 2 minutes. Yields 1 chicken breast and about 1/3 cup sauce per serving.

Notes ~

For the best taste, don’t gray the chicken breasts in the skillet. Be patient and brown them, giving them enough time over the heat and not over-crowding the pan. That caramelized flavor will permeate the meat — and will lie in little burned bits on the skillet’s bottom, waiting to be lifted off with this simple sauce of tomatoes, olives and capers.

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