Here's something simple based on a recipe in Gourmet mag this month.

1 large or 2 med zucchini
1.5 lbs boneless chicken breast (skinless or skin on)
1 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/4 C white wine or vermouth
1/4 C water

  1. Trim ends of zucchini and slice into paper thin slices - 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. They'll look like wide ribbons. If you have an adjustable blade slicer, this will take about 30 seconds. If not, try a cheese slicer. Last resort - very carefully slice with a large chef's knife. Trim one long edge to make a long flat surface. Place flat end down on cutting board. Trim the skin from each side, then cut long slices down the length of the zucchini.
  2. Place zucchini strips into a large bowl.
  3. Cut each chicken breast crosswise into thirds. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute 12-16 minutes, turning. Keep heat high enough to allow the chicken to brown.
  4. Remove chicken pieces and cut each in half and immediately place in bowl with zucchini. Gently toss together. Note: if chicken not cooked through fully, return to pan for another minute, placing cut side down. Add garlic to pan keeping heat med-high. Stir for 1 min to soften garlic.
  5. Add wine and scrape bottom of pan to pick up any remaining browned chicken bits. Add water an continue to reduce. When liquid is reduced to about 1/4 C, pour sauce over chicken and zucchini. Season with addtional salt and pepper if desired.

Why this recipe is good:

  • Heart healthy. Just chicken breast and zucchini with a few simple flavors and only 1 T of oil.
  • Simple technique - a pan sauce made in this manner is surprisingly flavorful.
  • Unique look of zucchini - the ribbons make for a dramatic presentation.
  • Not cooking the zucchini - the heat from the chicken and small amount of sauce is all that's needed to wilt the zucchini. Raw or overcoked zucchini will kill a dish and this approach is easy and effective.

Improvements from the original recipe:

  • Called for just water to make the pan sauce. Wine or vermouth will improve the flavor considerably.
  • Cutting chicken pieces after cooking. 1/3 of a chicken breast is an awkward size. Cutting in half again allows you to check for doneness and also creates more warm pieces to distribute among the zucchini, improving the wilting action.

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