Grilled chicken with olive and basil sauce

This is perfect for supper.   It comes from my book Taste A New Way to Cook . There are myriad different variations - the olives can be replaced by slightly bitter grilled courgettes, fresh herbs or sweet roasted pepper.   Its gorgeous with any grilled meat or fish.

Serves 4

2 small cloves garlic, finely diced

1 lemon, finely grated

2 tablespoons finely sliced basil leaves

12 tablespoons good, peppery extra virgin olive oil

4 boneless chicken breasts, skinned

4 medium tomatoes, peeled and quartered

10 large green olives, stoned

1 teaspoon lemon juice

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Make the marinade by mixing together 4 tablespoons olive oil with the lemon zest, half the garlic and half the basil.   Place the remaining garlic and basil in a separate mixing bowl with a further 8 tablespoons olive oil for the sauce.


Trim the chicken breasts of any fat and remove their fillets.   Place each breast between two sheets of clingfilm and gently beat with a rolling pin until they form 4 thin escalopes.   Mix into the marinade with the fillets and season with freshly ground black pepper.   Cover and chill until needed.


Place a strainer over the remaining bowl of basil oil.   Cut away the tomato seeds, dropping them into the sieve and straining their juice into the bowl.    Cut the tomato flesh and olives into strips, and add to the juice before seasoning to taste with the lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper.    If the tomatoes are very acidic, you may not need any lemon juice.


Preheat an oven top grill pan over a medium high heat.   Once hot, cook the chicken for 4 minutes on each side.   Serve on a bed of tagliatelle with the sauce spooned over each breast.






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