Chicken can be characterized as very tender meat that cooks very quickly. Its flavor isn’t very strong, and therefore it needs all the help it can get from sauces, herbs and marinades. Free-range and organic birds are becoming increasingly popular, and despite the fact that they are far more expensive, they are worth the extra investment. Always check the skin of the chicken before buying – it should be pale with slight light-blue glints and have a velvety consistency. Italians have several ways to cook the chicken: they grill it, roast it, poach it, stew it, bake it in the oven, or prepare in on the spit. But it is never served with pasta. In this recipe the tomato sauce plays second fiddle and enhances the delicate texture of the chicken.
3 boneless chicken breasts
salt and black pepper to taste
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
olive oil for frying
500 gr/1 lb passata di pomodoro
1.5 dl/2/3 cup dry white wine
3-5 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sugar (optional)
fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Season both sides of the boneless chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry the fillets in a pan over a medium heat. Be careful with the temperature, because chicken can’t take high heat. After about 5-10 minutes, remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Saute the onion and garlic in the pan until the onion softens and becomes golden. Add the passata di pomodoro, the dry white wine, the bay leaves and the thyme. Decrease the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 15-20 minutes. At the end, bring the chicken pieces back to the pan and cover them with the sauce. This way you can make sure that the fillets get cooked through. Garnish each plate with pine nuts and fresh flat leaf parsley. Serve with a freshly baked baguette and a green salad.