Chicken Cutlets with Tomatoes and Capers

chicken cutlets with capers

My family scarfed this down last night.  Wyatt ate three pieces of chicken and begged for more.  I said no--I had to save some for a photo shoot.  See how this blog is depriving my children?

My Mom loaned me Tessa Kiros' new cookbook, Apples for Jam.  The recipes are organized by color, and this chicken was in the "Red" chapter.  The photographs are luminous--cluttered, bright, full of vintage finds and children's toys--very different than the laboratory-style food photos that Martha Stewart has popularized.  I'm not a cookbook reviewer, but I give this one a very un-scientific thumbs-up.

I bought a clamshell of grape tomatoes at Trader Joe's, knowing full-well they weren't going to be the most astounding things in the world and that I was going against my rule of no fresh tomatoes in the winter.  Even though I've sung the praises of canned tomatoes, things get a little dull this time of year.  Sauteed with garlic and a good dose of olive oil, these little guys tasted like a hit of summer, which is just what we needed.

P.S. This photo of Loretta has nothing to do with chicken cutlets, except that she looks so cute I could eat her up.

loretta at the end of 2009

Chicken Cutlets wth Tomatoes and Capers
I adapted this recipe a bit from Tessa's (surprise).  You could definitely use some drained, diced canned tomatoes in a pinch, and you might not have a thriving sage bush outside your window like I do.  In that case, skip the sage.  And if you've been making preserved lemons like I have, you could sub some finely diced preserved lemon rind for the capers.  And one more thing--I used arugula (Trader Joes again) but you could use spinach or romaine.  This serves four--only attempt it in one batch if you have a huge nonstick skillet. Otherwise, do it in two batches or in two pans.

About 8 Tb. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 c. halved and washed cherry tomatoes
salt
8 chicken cutlets (or "chicken tenders")
flour for dusting
8 fresh sage leaves
1/3 c. white wine or water
3 Tb. drained capers
four big handfuls of fresh greens (arugula, spinach, or romaine)
crushed red chile flakes

Distribute greens on four plates.

Pound the cutlets a bit till they're a little flatter and roughly uniform size.  Lightly dust the chicken with flour on both sides, and set aside.

Heat half the oil with garlic in a large nonstick frying pan.  Add the tomatoes with a little salt and fry over high heat until they start to pucker.  Pour the oil and tomatoes out together into a little bowl and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the pan.  Heat over medium heat until oil is shimmering.  Add sage, and place chicken directly on top of sage leaves, frying until the underside of the chicken is golden and the sage is sticking to the chicken.  Turn over and season with salt.  Cook until the new underside is golden.  Add the wine, tomato mixture, and capers.  Let it bubble up and evaporate a bit, then put the lid on and leave for a couple minutes before serving.

Lay chicken atop greens and top with some of the tomato caper pan sauce.  Garnish with red pepper flakes if desired.