Friday, 14 February 2014

A quick midweek meal to banish the winter blues

Poor old Blighty has been getting a good battering from the weather over the past few weeks and it looks like there’s still more to come! We’ve been really lucky up here in Northumberland having largely escaped any flooding so far. I don’t want to speak too soon though – our annual deluge of snow is probably just around the corner.

I've been sustaining myself through the cold dark nights of winter with plenty of rich and hearty home-cooked food (and a reliable central heating system!) but I'm now finding myself hankering for some lighter fresher summer tastes. Brought on by all those holiday brochures I've been flicking through I suspect!

A plate of summer in the depths of winter
Out of season ingredients available at this time of year seem to have virtually circumnavigated the globe before finding their way into my local supermarket  and I usually avoid them when I can. So I was over the moon when I found this recipe on the BBC Good Food site which uses mainly store cupboard ingredients to create an effortless Proven├žal style sauce for chicken although I suspect it would complement fish just as well. Even better - I discovered, when I made it, that it can be cooked up from scratch in around 20 minutes so it’s perfect for when I’ve come in late and just want to batten down the hatches, turn the heating up, eat something nice and dream of summer.

I must point out that I did serve it with fine green beans from Morocco as it seemed the ideal accompaniment (and it was) so on this occasion I make no apology!

I have tweaked the original recipe very slightly to add a bit of heat! 

Notes: This recipe serves 1 but just increase the ingredients accordingly to serve more. Also, nice juicy ripe tomatoes are hard to come by in February but the sauce won't suffer by using the less tasty varieties available at the minute. The recipe calls for a splash of wine or water - wine definitely gives the sauce extra depth of flavour. Finally I used half a sachet (around 35g) of Crespo green olives with herbs and garlic - because they are already marinated they make the sauce extra tasty.

Chicken Breast with Tomatoes, Olives and Capers


1 Boneless, skinless chicken breast
a little seasoned flour mixed with half tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large (ripe if available) tomato, chopped
2 tbsp capers
handful olives
splash white wine (or water)


  1. 1. Bash the chicken with a rolling pin to flatten, then lightly coat in the seasoned flour mixed with chilli powder. Heat the oil in a pan, add the chicken and cook for 6-7 mins, depending upon the size, on each side until crisp, browned and thoroughly cooked through. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

  2. 2. Add the tomato, capers, olives and wine to the pan, season to taste, then bring to the boil. Bubble the sauce for 2-3 mins until the tomatoes are starting to break down, then spoon over the chicken and scatter with chopped herbs. 

  3. Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2009

1 comment:

  1. Chicken, tomatoes, olives and capers! All of my favourite ingredients, and that looks like my prefect supper dish! Karen


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