Sunday, June 12, 2011

Olive Tapenade Chicken

Olive Tapenade Chicken
The last time my parents came to visit, my sister headed out to our favorite specialty market to stock up on some treats that the 'rents can't usually get in their small town. As we walked through the aisles I happily 'discovered' that the store had brought back the olive tanpende that my dad loves so much. I bought two jars and was pretty excited to present it to my dad along with some of his favorite crackers. I walked smugly into my house and went to put the two jars of tapanade into the pantry....right next to the other two jars that were sitting there. And when I opened up the fridge to put away some veggies....I realized there was another opened half eaten jar. Yep. Lots and lots and lots of tapenade. I realized that there was no way I could eat all of this on just crackers. That's pretty redundant and boring. I pounded out some chicken, threw some whole wheat pasta in a salted boiling pot of water and used some fresh mozzarella to round it all out.

What You Need:
2 chicken breasts
1 jar olive tapenade
2 tomatoes
1 ball fresh mozzarella
1 container feta cheese
4 bunches of basil
1/2 box whole wheat pasta

What You Do:
Heat your oven to 350. Pound the chicken breasts out. Place both in an oven safe dish and drizzle olive oil over them. Sprinkle salt and pepper over them. Bake until juices run clear. This typically takes 20 minutes. Cut thin slices of mozzarella cheese while chicken bakes. Boil 6 quarts of water with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons of salt (you read that right, 2 TABLESPOONS. This is how the restaurants salt their water. Trust me.) For timing purposes, when water comes to a boil the chicken should be just about complete. Throw the pasta in the water. Pull the chicken out and generously coat the top of the chicken with the olive tapenade. Place two slices of tomato on top of the tapenade and then cover with cheese. Place the chicken back in the oven. When the pasta is done, the cheese on the chicken should be golden and bubbly. Pull the chicken out. Drain the pasta and toss it with more olive tapendae. Roughly chop the basil and sprinkle over the pasta and the chicken. I also topped my pasta off with a little more feta. Because you can never have enough cheese!


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