March 7, 2011

Chicken Provencal

My cousin sent me this recipe a couple weeks ago with a rave review. I have never had a dish like this and I was eager to try it. I actually made it twice. The first time I attempted the recipe I was in the middle of the simmering process and thought, "Maybe I'll thicken this up and add a little paste." Wrong move...the wonderful flavor of the salted pork, I used a thick slice of prosciutto, simmering with the onions and tomato was completely lost after I made my little adjustment. Although it was pretty good, I was hankering to know what I would have had ended up with if I didn't modify the recipe with the paste. It was just too "tomatoee", too much like a spaghetti sauce. Not even the addition of extra white wine had really changed the flavor very much.

So last Friday night my husband got our usual Friday night pizza for himself and the kids, but I had a single half of a chicken breast left in the frig, so I thought I'd try this dish again. Only this time I was not going to stray that far from the original recipe. I cooked up bacon instead of the prosciutto since that was all I had last minute. I only used one strip for my single serving of the chicken and that was enough. Since it was only one piece of meat in my pan, I did reduce the simmering time to about 10-12 minutes. The tomato mixture in the pan had reduced into this lovely flavorful sauce that I poured over my chicken and it was wonderful. I had Chris taste it and he just said "Wow, a lot of flavors, very good."

So thank you dear cousin for this tasty dish. I haven't tried the new version out on my kids but hey, they love bacon so we should be good to go with them!

This recipe was adapted from adapted from Bon Appetite, May 1994 issue. (Photo by b.a. curran)


2 boneless and skinless chicken breast cut in half
Olive for sauteeing
2 -3 oz. salt pork
1 onion , chopped
1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes with juices, you can use the tomatoes with basil added
1 14 1/2 oz can of low salt chicken broth
3/4 c. of dry white wine
2 dried or 1 fresh bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 -4 garlic cloves crushed
3/4 c. drained black olives halved
3/4 c. fresh basil (optional)


Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper, I used seasoned salt, and heat oil in pan. Once the oil is hot add the chicken breasts and saute for 5 minutes on each side, then remove from pan and set aside. Add the salt pork to the pan and saute for roughly 5 minutes and then you can toss in the onions and cook until they are translucent about another 5-6 minutes. Make sure to continue stirring so then onions do not burn. Then add the tomatoes, broth, wine, bay leaf and thyme and bring to boil. Reduce heat and add the chicken back in, cover let simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. The liquid should reduce by half. remove chicken from pan and plate. Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken and top with the olives and basil.

PS...if you are a mushroom lover like I am, you can add them in at the same time you add the tomatoes and broth for a little variation.

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