The camera battery died mid-prep, so you get only the naked, raw chicken breast picture. Sorry! I had been pondering on this one all week, and decided I just needed to wing it, so I fiddled about with my fig-and-olive tapenade, added some oranges, and came up with dinner that could be prepped over the weekend, refrigerated, and then cooked on a busy weeknight. I served mine over wild rice, with sauteed snow peas on the side. —Kayb
Fig and Olive Tapenade
dried Mission figs
best quality olive oil you have
chopped fresh rosemary
chicken breast halves
freshly squeezed orange juice
oranges (blood oranges are nice, but not necessary)
Chop the olives and figs finely. Combine with other ingredients. Set aside until ready to prepare chicken. Can be refrigerated up to a week.
Cut a pocket in each chicken breast, cutting to within one inch of the outside edge. Stuff each breast with the fig and olive mixture, and close with a toothpick or skewer. At this point, you can wrap and refrigerate the breasts for up to two days.
Salt and pepper the stuffed breasts. Brown on both sides in a large skillet over medium high heat, and remove to a plate. While breasts are browning, dice the onion finely.
In the same skillet, saute the onion until it's translucent and soft. Add the orange juice, lemon juice, rosemary and bay leaf and bring to a boil; lower heat to medium.
Add the chicken breasts and any juices that have collected on the plate back to the skillet. Peel and segment one of the oranges and add the sections to the skillet. Add the olives as well. Cover and poach the chicken until done, about 15 minutes.
Remove the breasts and increase heat to reduce pan sauce to the thickness you prefer.
Slice the other orange, thinly, into horizontal slices. Plate the chicken over wild rice or the starch of your choice, add a spoonful of sauce, garnish with the sliced oranges.
I'm a business professional who learned to cook early on, and have expanded my tastes and my skills as I've traveled and been exposed to new cuisines and new dishes. I love fresh vegetables, any kind of protein on the grill, and breakfasts that involve fried eggs with runny yolks. My recipes tend toward the simple and the Southern, with bits of Asia or the Mediterranean or Mexico thrown in here and there. And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a float in the lake, as pictured, is a pretty fine lunch!