Chicken Scallopini with Tomatoes, Basil, and Capers

Serves 2.

Time requirements. 15-20 minutes.

What you will need:

2 filleted chicken thighs. Skin on or off; It is your preference. (See Chicken Scallopini in the chapter Building Blocks for how to fillet the chicken thighs.)

Fresh pepper to grind.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.

3 whole garlic cloves peeled.

¼ cup dry white vermouth.

1 tablespoon capers preferably packed in salt. If you use caper packed in vinegar, rinse them.

1 cup diced tomatoes (canned if out of season).

6 basil leaves torn into 18 pieces.

Preparation:

Grind some fresh pepper over the chicken and set aside. About salt, if you use capers packed in salt, you likely will not need additional salt. If you are not using capers packed in salt, sprinkle a little salt on the chicken when you apply the pepper. Assemble all the ingredients.

Place the olive oil and garlic cloves in a 12-inch frypan. Heat it over a medium heat. When the garlic cloves begin to sizzle, add the chicken skin side down. (If you are using skinless thighs, place the side that once held the skin down.) Cook the chicken 2 minutes and turn, cook 2 minutes and turn again, cook 1-minute turn again, cook an additional minute (that is 4 turns in 6 minutes). While the chicken cooks, watch the garlic, it should brown but not burn. When the garlic is brown, remove it and set it aside on a plate.

When the chicken has cooked six minutes, remove it to a plate. Pour off all the cooking fat. Return the pan to the heat.

Add the vermouth and capers to the pan. When the vermouth has reduced by half, add the tomatoes and basil. Return the chicken and garlic to the pan. Continue to cook the dish until all excess liquid has evaporated and you have a thick tomato sauce. Serve the chicken thighs on warm plates with the tomato sauce over and around it. Any remember to serve the garlic cloves. They are very tasty.

Alternative: Replace the vermouth with a dry Italian Marsala. Also replace the basil with a 4-inch sprig of rosemary and add it when you add the marsala to the pan.

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