February 16, 2013 by allsho
Today is my mother’s seventieth birthday.
Big thing. We are going to meet later, for an afternoon of games (for her three grandchildren) and reunion for the bigger folk.
My mother is blessed with good health, she is active and supports greatly both my family and my sister’s by taking care of our children when their needs and our jobs’ needs clash. And our children love her dearly, and don’t fail to show it, and this I think is another blessing for her, helping her to feel less lonely.
Later, dinner together, cooked separately by her, my sister and I.
I prepared a second course (by us second course usually means meat, or fish, plus vegetables as a sidedish) here at home, then take it over to her place in town.
What is this?
Well, this is chicken with peppers, olives and capers.
Do you really want to know how it’s cooked? Well, ok, snap here. I don’t want to transform this blog into an Italian cuisine blog, so stop reading, right there. If you go on, you understand and agree you are entering a different realm. Sign it, right there. Ok.
Fine. For 5 adults and 3 kids (of which one surely eats as a grown-up; all the same I think I was a bit abundant in the measures), I took something like 800 g of chicken breast slices, dipped them in flour, shook them, and then placed them to fry golden in an already hot (but not smoking hot, take care!) frying pan with five tablespoons of extravirgin olive oil and a nut of butter (unsalted real butter; it’s used to add flavour; margarine doesn’t do the job, so if I can’t use unsalted butter, I’d just add some more olive oil). Actually I had to do this in two rounds, because the pan wasn’t wide enough for all the slices, and between the first and second round I changed the oil+butter and cleaned the pan.
When the meat was golden on one side, maybe after 3 mins, I turned it over, sprinkled salt and ground black pepper on top, and after another 3 mins I added the juice of 1 lemon and left it in for a few seconds again; then I took it out of the pan and let it dry on absorbing paper.
In another frying pan I put another three or four tablespoons of olive oil, a couple of cloves of garlic (whole, just slightly crushed, so they are easier to remove in the end if I have to, like today with children) and four red sweet peppers, previously cleaned (taking away all that’s not red) and cut in thin stripes. They cooked in there for 5 mins, frequently stirred. Then I added about 100 g of sliced green olives (without the seed), and 50 g of capers (if capers are under salt, as in my case, I usually wash them very well before use to remove the salt; otherwise, if they are under vinegar, I just drain them – the result will be a bit different though). I added a couple pinches of dry oregano and salt. Then I let them cook, covered, for about 10 mins, adding when necessary half a glass of white wine.
Then I placed everything in a covered pyrex, which will be placed in the oven for 10 mins just to heat it before serving. An additional garnish will be a branch of parsley. And I’ll have white wine, dry and just slightly fizzy, to go with it.
This is it. Not difficult, is it? Maybe, according to where you live, some ingredients might be difficult to find, or maybe not… Well, let me know, if you try. Enjoy.