Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I continue to lag behind in my postings; I made this recipe a week ago. But even though it’s old news, I thought you should know about it, because it’s a reliable, no-fuss way to dress up a chicken breast. I’ve made it at least six times before, often to use up mozzarella left over from another recipe. But I never got around to writing it up, probably because it’s almost too simple to talk about, just sautéed chicken breasts with cheese and basil and a classy pan sauce. This recipe is good to make on a weeknight after a long workday and commute, or on a summer evening when you don’t feel like using the stove for more than 15 minutes or washing more than one pan. Have salad on the side or, as I did this time, roasted asparagus. Since A was working late, I experimented a little, making my cheesy chicken breast (drizzled with the pan sauce and nestled into a handful of on-the-verge-of-wilting salad greens from the bottom of the crisper drawer) into a sandwich on toasted leftover no-knead bread. It wasn’t amazing, but it was nice.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1½ pounds)
* Or 2 large breasts, each cut in half horizontally to make 4
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, peeled and slightly crushed
½ cup dry white wine
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 4 slices
4 large leaves fresh basil

1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the garlic. Add the chicken breasts and cook 6–10 minutes, until golden brown on both sides and almost cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate.

3. Add the wine to the pan, scraping to release any browned bits on the bottom, and simmer briefly to reduce the sauce by half. Return the chicken to the pan and cook 1 minute.

4. Place a slice of fresh mozzarella and a basil leaf on top of each chicken breast. Cover the pan, remove it from the heat, and set aside for a few minutes to let the mozzarella soften and begin to melt. Sprinkle with chicken with additional salt and pepper as desired. Remove the garlic clove from the pan and discard. Place each chicken breast on a plate and spoon sauce over it.

Serves: 4
Time: 25 minutes

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