“Why not make a daily pleasure out a daily necessity?”Well...truth be told, I didn't jet away to Provence for dinner, darlings (ahem, Dom Pérignon taste on a Bud Light budget?). But, I had experienced a serious case of Francophilia earlier in the day and needed to prepare something French-inspired to satiate my hunger and wanderlust. With a mix of fresh summer produce and Mediterranean flavors, voilà: winner winner chicken Provençal dinner!
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast, sliced thinly
- salt and pepper to taste
- dried herb mixture (Basil and Oregano is what I used)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pesto (I like Giada's from Target)
- 1 (14 ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts in water, drained
- zest of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon of capers (or more if you like!)
- 1 cup of dry white wine
- Polenta (in "tube" form)
- freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- chiffonade of fresh Basil
- Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt, pepper and your preferred herb blend (I like "Pasta Sprinkle" from Penzey's).
- Heat oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place chicken in skillet; cook, turning once to brown each side. Remove chicken from pan, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in another pan, heat more oil and remaining butter to medium heat. Slice polenta into 1/2 thick slices. Cook per directions, until slightly golden on each side.
- Pour tomatoes into the pan used for chicken; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, and incorporating any brown bits from bottom of pan. Stir in pesto, artichokes, wine, capers, and lemon zest. Return chicken to pan. Cover, and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 5, or just until chicken is cooked through.
- Serve chicken atop the polenta cakes. Top with fresh Parmesan and basil. Would also be excellent over angel hair pasta.
- Bon appétit!