Grilled Chicken Breasts with Olive, Caper and Almond Relish

Almonds

Almonds

By Cat, Dec 2007 (Photo, right from Wikimedia Commons)

See also: 1. Poultry & Fowl Menu; 2. Brining Chicken; 3. Preparing Chicken or Other Cutlets;

This is a variation on Chicken Cutlets Sautéed with Olives, Capers & Roasted Lemons, but the chicken is grilled rather than sautéed, and it is served with an almond relish instead of roasted lemons.

Jar of Capers

Jar of Capers

Capers are a type of Mediterranean berry (Photo, left, from Wikimedia Commons). For culinary purposes they are usually fermented similar to olives, so have a similar flavor; both the buds and the berries are delicious. For the olives, I highly recommend using the brined type, rather than canned, as they have much more flavor and nutritional value. Some grocers have a brined-olive bar, with several different kinds of olives in small open crocks; you may also find brined capers there as well. Be sure to get some of the brine when you scoop out the olives, as it will keep them fresh if you don’t use them right away.

Grilled Chicken Breasts with Olive, Caper & Almond Relish

This is adapted from Fine Cooking, originally by Tasha DeSerio. Designed for grilling outdoors over a fire, this can also be grilled indoors using a cast iron grill pan.

The original serves 4, I’ve adapted it to serve 2.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 2 chicken breast halves, 6 – 8 oz ea
  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp blanched almonds (or sprouted and blanched), toasted & chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • pitted, brined green olives (enough to make ¾ cup, coarsely chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp capers chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley
  • ½ – 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • Equipment:
  • small bowl
  • grill or cast iron grill pan
  • clean cutting board
  • platter

Method:

  1. Prep ChickenBrine the chicken breasts for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. NOTE; If using bone-in, skin-on breasts, remove bones, but do not remove skin, as it helps to keep the meat moist while grilling.
  2. Season all with salt pepper (skip salt if you brined the breasts), both sides, then coat with 1 Tbsp oil. Let rest while you prepare the relish.
  3. Prep almond relish: lightly toast & roughly chopped, enough to make 2 Tbsp.
  4. Mince garlic, sprinkle with salt and press to paste with side of knife blade; add to almonds.
  5. Rinse and pit olives, then chop coarsely with rinsed capers. Chop parsley and thyme and combine with almonds, garlic, olives & capers in small bowl, with 1/4 cup oil and lemon zest. Set aside.
  6. Grill: Grill chicken, skin-side down, until it has grill marks, 2 – 3 minutes; flip and grill until cooked through, 2 – 3 minutes more. Remove to clean cutting board to rest a few minutes.
  7. Cut breasts at an angle into ½-inch thick slices and arrange on serving platter. Spoon reserved relish over and serve.

Serving Suggestions

References:

  1. Fine Cooking Grilled Chicken recipe, originally by Tasha DeSerio (finecooking.com/recipes/grilled-chicken-breasts-green-olive-relish.aspx)
  2. Fine Cooking salad recipe (finecooking.com/recipes/heirloom-cherry-tomato-fennel-arugula-salad.aspx)

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