Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chicken Pootie-nesca

While we were on vacation, we ate at a really good Italian place in Bryson City - Pasqualino's. Pootie loved it. He ordered Chicken Puttanesca and spent the rest of the evening (and a couple of days after that) talking about eating "chicken for hors".(that's how we spell it around 305 - long story). He begged me to make it for him once we got back, so I threw together a reasonable facsimile the other night and he was happy. It took very little time, and I had everything we needed in the pantry, so this is a good last-minute dinner.

I started off by taking out my hostilities on a couple of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

I like them better pounded flat. They're more tender that way.

Then I salted and peppered them and pan-seared them in a little olive oil.

While the chicken is cooking, get out your anchovies

Trust me. You won't even know they're there. But you WILL know if they're not.

Drain them and chop up the whole tin.

Sautee one onion, diced, then add about 1/2 cup of chopped olives, a can of tomato sauce, 1/4 cup of capers, the chopped anchovies, and a couple of cloves of garlic, minced. Add a generous pinch of red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Add about 1/4 tsp. of baking soda. That takes the edge off the tomato sauce and makes it nice and mellow.

While that's simmering, boil some pasta - I used fettuccine, because it's what I had. And hey, here's a note about pasta. Salt the water, please. A good amount. Not just a token pinch to humor me. It really gives the pasta great flavor. I use probably 4 Tbs. of kosher salt in my big stockpot. If you're using whole grain or whole wheat pasta, use about half that much salt. It seems to suck more in.

Put the chicken into the sauce to warm it. When the pasta is done, drain it and serve topped with the chicken and sauce.

Here's a .pdf version, but you probably don't even need a recipe. It's one of those throw-together dishes that takes about half an hour.

Even hors deserve to eat well.

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