Chicken Supremes with Tapenade and Mushroom Sauce

The best part of fall, for me at least, is the shift to more substantial fare, meals that require a few more ingredients, a bit more thought than the lighter fare of summer. Stews, soups, roasts…dishes that require the oven, an appliance that I haven’t used since the temps went above 100F last April. What to cook, what to cook…

From Jacques Pepin comes this updated classic.

Chicken Supremes With Tapenade and Mushroom Sauce

Serves 4

Tapenade:

3/4C mixed pitted, oil-cured Kalamata and green olives*

1 small garlic clove, sliced thin

2 dried apricot halves, cut into small pieces

1 1/2T drained capers

8 anchovy fillets in oil

2T evoo

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, about 6oz each

1T good quality olive oil

4T unsalted butter

S&P to taste

1 1/2C baby bella mushrooms, washed and cut into 3/4″ pieces**

1/2C chopped onion

1/2C white wine

2T chopped fresh chives or parsley for garnish

For the tapenade, put everything in food processor and pulse to make a course puree.

Cut a horizontal slit in each chicken breast to create a pocket and stuff with the tapenade. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 180 . Heat the olive oil and 2T of the butter in a large skillet. Meanwhile, season the stuffed breasts with 1/2t each salt and pepper and arrange them side by side in the hot skillet. Cook over medium heat, covered, for about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and keep warm in oven.

Add mushrooms and onion to the skillet and saute about 2 minutes. Add wine and reduce by boiling for 2 minutes. Add rest of butter and salt and pepper to taste, mixing well to incorporate the butter.

Serve the chicken breast on warmed plates, adding any juice that may have accumulated around them on the platter to the mushroom sauce in the pan. Spoon the mushrooms and sauce over the chicken breasts and sprinkle with garnish. Serve.

* If you have access to wild mushrooms, by all means use them.

** Many local markets now offer olive bars. Try combining the Kalamatas with any other oil-cured green olives available.

Recipe source: “Jacques Pepin More Fast Food My Way”, Houghton Mifflin, 2008.

Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All Rights Reserved, 2011

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