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Chicken with Tapenade and Tomato Basil Sauce

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This is an end of summer recipe for Chicken with Tapenade and Tomato Basil Sauce.

When the calendar turns to September markets and gardens everywhere are brimming with fresh tomatoes in all colours and sizes. I have my own eight-foot high patio tomato plant loaded with Tomacchio tomatoes, my current favourite variety. But I will leave these tomatoes to be enjoyed in salads or pastas and other recipes where they are eaten fresh.

For this recipe I most often use store bought tomato sauce, preferably from a specialty shop. Adding fresh basil perks up the sauce and makes this a simple meal.

Olive Tapenade for Chicken with Tapenade and Tomato Basil Sauce

Tapenade comes from the Provencal region of France. It is a paste made of black olives and anchovies that has a pleasant salty taste. It is often served on crackers but the French also use it as a stuffing for chicken.

This recipe originally came from one of my favourite food magazines; Bon Appetit, Food&Wine or Gourmet. I don’t remember which one but over the years I have changed the recipe to make it an easy meal that can be served for a gourmet dinner.

You can make olive tapenade from scratch but these days it is easy to find in specialty food shops or European markets. Although the ingredients vary it should be naturally gluten free, just check the label. It can be called olive tapenade, olive paste or olive spread.

For this recipe you can spread the tapenade on each chicken breast or simply spoon some on top just before you serve it.

Everyday to Gourmet for Chicken with Tapenade and Tomato Basil Sauce

You can make this dish with a single chicken breast per person, grilled or sautéed. Sometimes chicken breasts are too large to serve to one person so in this photo I sliced the chicken and served it on top of the sauce. This can be done on any size of platter depending on how many people you are serving. Garnish it with fresh basil and it is a perfect fall dish.



3-4 chicken breast halves
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups store bought tomato sauce
½ cup fresh basil, sliced thin
2-3 Tbsp olive tapenade
GARNISH – basil leaves


Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a sauté pan. Fry chicken until cooked through turning once, about 8 minutes total.
Let chicken rest for several minutes before slicing it or serve a half chicken breast per person.
While chicken is cooking heat tomato sauce and add basil.
Spoon tomato sauce onto each plate or a platter. Top with chicken. Dot olive tapenade on chicken and garnish with fresh basil.


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