Provençal Baked Chicken

IMG_2073Still trying to cling-on to the last flavors of summer? Before the Farmer’s Market summer produce is replaced with their fall harvest, pick the ripe tomatoes & fresh basil to create this simple yet deliciously sophisticated and developed flavored dish. Serve along a side of Garlic Smashed Parmesan Potatoes or  a simple olive oil angel hair pasta.

Why the name? When I was trying to come up with a title, I ended up on a Google search of “Provençal”. I came across a fabulous line on Saveur that sums it up beautifully: “…the vocabulary of Provençal cooking—garlic, olive oil, basil, rosemary, sage, licorice, saffron, tomatoes, eggplant, artichokes, fennel, and olives… [integrating these] ingredients into finished dishes without submerging their identity, and to use vivid flavors not for shock value but as accents and illuminations…that’s as good a definition as any I can think of for contemporary Provençal cuisine.” This dish truly showcases the expression of each individual flavor while complimenting the full flavor-palette as a whole, like true Provençal cuisine. Bón appetit!

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Cutlets
  • 2 Quarts of Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, Minced
  • 20 Kalamata Olives, pitted and sliced
  • 2 tbsp+ Fresh Basil, chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Shaved Parmesan Cheese
  • Pinenuts, toasted
  • Splash of Italian Dressing, such as Stonewall Kitchen
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Rub the chicken with olive oil, top with a small amount of Italian dressing, and grated parmesan cheese.  Season with salt & pepper. Bake the chicken cutlets on a sheet pan for 20 minutes until they are cooked through but not dry.

In the meantime, drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over low-medium heat. Add the tomatoes, olives, garlic, and basil, and mix often. You want the tomatoes to start to blister and release their juices, but not caramelize.  Take off the heat and set aside.

In a separate pan, toast the pine nuts dry (no oil) over medium heat, tossing often so that they don’t burn – which can happen quickly! You will know they are done when you can smell them and they’re lightly browned.

When the chicken is cooked, top each piece of chicken with the tomato olive mixture. Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts, and then big pieces of shaved parmesan cheese. Top with fresh basil. Place the chicken back in the oven for 3 minutes, or until the cheese melts. Remove from the oven and season with salt & pepper to taste. Plate with remaining tomatoes and olive sauce. Serve hot with mashed potatoes or a simple angel hair pasta.

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