Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Lidia's Chicken Breast with Oranges and Olives

'tis the season - where candles are lit to ward off darkness. Where sparkle is called for and the usually-muted Claudia looks for a bit of glitter. And for dinner - I want flavor - more than the riches of fats and sugar so prevalent in December - I want the bright tang of oranges coupled with some briny salt. So I brought Lidia Bastianich's chicken with oranges and olives to the table. And was promptly told I could make it again.

So should you. 

Ingredients - serves 6 (I halved it and it served two just fine)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 pounds thinly sliced chicken cutlets
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Flour - for dredging
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large red onion, sliced
1 cup pitted Gaeta or Kalamata olives, whole or halved
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon fennel powder (I used fennel seeds)*
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh Italian parsley 

For fennel powder: put 1/2 cup of fennel seed in spice grinder and mill until you have powder. Makes 1/4 cup. Store at room temperature, sealed.

1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat olive oil. Season chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and lightly dredge chicken in flour. Lightly brown the chicken in oil (until it has a blonde crust), about two minutes per side. Cook chicken in batches. Remove chicken to plate.

2. Add butter and onion to skillet and cook until onion is softened - 3-4 minutes. Add olives, orange juice, zest white wine and fennel. Add chicken back into skillet and simmer until chicken is cooked through and the sauce coats the chicken - about 4 minutes. Season with remaining salt, sprinkle with parsley (I used some fennel frond) and serve.

We had a trim-the-tree dinner. 

It will never be a designer tree. The ornaments come from our travels, our quirks - all the stages of our lives. Trimming the tree evokes all the threads of our Christmases -  Past, Present and Future.

This little beauty was from my parent's earliest Christmas together.

And this came from a neighbor when I was five years old. I am willing to bet some of you have him.

Paul (who prefers to direct the trimming of the tree) noted that the lower third of the tree was bare.
And it still is. Because ...


Sue/the view from great island said...

This sounds incredible, it's a fantastic flavor combination --- I've made an orange and black olive salad that I adore, so I know I'd love this.

Whats Cookin Italian Style Cuisine said...

This chicken sounds amazing Claudia I hope you and your family have a beautiful Christmas this year everything looks wonderful

Kitchen Riffs said...

Our cat is convinced that we put up a Cat Toy Tree at this time of the year. All for her. :-) We have an eclectic assortment of ornaments -- many from our travels, or hand-me-downs. We put the nonbreakable ones on the bottom of the tree so when they mysteriously land on the floor they won't break. Great looking chicken dish! Fun post -- thanks.

Velva said...

This looks incredible. The first thought to come to mind is Soulful.

I have really enjoy your cat antics on Facebook. The cats definitely think Christmas trees are toys from heaven for them.

Merry Christmas.


Angie's Recipes said...

Your orange chicken looks incredibly delicious and moreish, Claudia. I like the addition of olives here. And your dinner table centerpiece looks very beautiful too.

Frank said...

Love the combination of flavors here. And the table setting!

Mae Travels said...

The chicken sounds marvelous. Good flavor combination.

best... mae at

Ciao Chow Linda said...

This couldn't have come at a better time. I have chicken breasts, olives and oranges all waiting for something like this - and it will happen in my kitchen tomorrow night.
I love the old Christmas ornaments with a story - the best kind. And that you don't decorate the lower third of the tree because of you know who. I am going to have two cats visiting for a few days during the Christmas holiday and I'm wondering if they'll wreak havoc on my tree.

Beth said...

I would love that dinner, too. And your Christmas tree sounds like ours - the best kind of tree, full of memories!

Roz | La Bella Vita Cucina said...

Just stopped by to see what's new with you and looks like I missed this recipe! What a delicious combination for the chicken! Hope you're staying warm, Claudia. We're slammed over here on the East Coast . . . but good for sitting in front of the fire with a nice glass of wine or cup of tea!