I often prepare this Jacques Pépin recipe (from his cookbook, "More Fast Food My Way") when I get home late and want to cook something fast and easy with loads of flavor. Chicken breasts are stuffed with a mixture of olives, garlic, dried apricot, capers, anchovy fillets and olive oil combined in the food processor, seared in a hot skillet, and covered to cook for about 8 minutes. Setting the chicken aside, the same pan is used to saute mushrooms and onions, adding wine, then butter, salt and pepper and any of the juice left on the plate where the chicken is resting. I was in too much of a hurry and didn't wait an extra 30 seconds or so to fully incorporate the chicken juice into the mushroom mixture and emulsify it, that's why you see the oil-type droplets in the photo below. I was so hungry that I also neglected to sprinkle the top with chopped parsley, or chives!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 oz. each)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 c. Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c. onion, chopped
2 T. water
1/4 c. white wine
2 T. butter
2 T. fresh chives or parsley, chopped
3/4 c. mixed pitted olives (black oil-cured, kalamata, and green)
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced thin
2 dried apricot halves, cut into small pieces
1-1/2 T. drained capers
8 anchovy fillets in oil
2 T. olive oil
For the tapenade put all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to make a coarse puree. Set aside.
Cut a horizontal slit in each chicken breast to create a pocket and stuff with the tapenade. Season both sides of the chicken with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; when hot, arrange the chicken breasts side-by-side in the skillet. Cook covered for about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter and keep warm in the oven (180-degrees).
Add the mushrooms and onion to the skillet and deglaze pan with a few tablespoons of water; cover and saute for about 2 minutes. Deglaze with 1/4 c. white wine, stir, and cook, uncovered, for 2-3 more minutes. Add 1-2 T. tablespoons of butter and stir in. Bring to a boil to emulsify it. Add a little salt and pepper to taste.
Serve a chicken breast on each of four hot plates; add any juice that has accumulated around them on the platter to the mushroom sauce in the pan and stir well. Divide the mushrooms and sauce among the servings, spooning it over the chicken breasts and sprinkle with the parsley or chives.
– Jacques Pépin, "More Fast Food My Way"