My dinner idea tonight came from an urge to clean out the pantry of things leftover that I bought to use for entertaining and hadn’t. A couple of those things were jars of olive tapenade to use as a topping for crostini and jars of antipasto I wanted to have on hand to place on my cheeseboards. Starting in November and continuing through December, I did a lot of entertaining, as I’m sure quite a few of us did. I live for that time of year for just that reason. There is nothing I love more than sharing my love of cooking and home with family and friends. When someone says they’d like to come for a visit, there is not a thing that could make me smile more. I love people and I love having people around me.
I bought thin sliced chicken breasts to use for tonight’s dinner. I envisioned them baked with olive tapenade spooned over them and baked that way. That was going to take care of one of the extra jars of tapenade I bought for last month’s entertaining activities. I sprayed a shallow square dish with non-stick cooking spray and laid the chicken breasts down. There were three. I sprinkled a minimal amount of kosher salt on the chicken since olives are salty enough on their own. I ended up using 1/2 teaspoon between all three breasts. I then sprinkled 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. You could use more or less of the red pepper flakes, depending on your liking. Next, I sprinkled the zest of two lemons over the breasts before spooning my olive tapenade on top. The oven was preheated to 375 degrees and I placed the chicken in for 30 minutes.
At the same time I placed the chicken in the oven, I placed a small sheet pan with 1/2 a jar of antipasto I had leftover in my refrigerator. I wanted to use this up, so figured I’d roast the antipasto (minus the liquid from the jar … I saved that to add to my cooked noodles) along with the chicken. To the antipasto, I added a package of rosemary sprigs I needed to use and 3 cloves of garlic that I chopped roughly.
While the chicken and antipasto were roasting, I cooked my spaghetti noodles.
When the chicken and antipasto had finished I removed them from the oven and was quite happy with the amount of juice that was surrounding the chicken in the pan. That would just add more wonderful flavor to the noodles. I ended up making a sauce out of the extra liquid in the chicken pan, the antipasto and extra liquid I saved from the jar. I added no extra oil to this dish at all, besides what was in the olives.
As soon as the chicken was done, I squeezed the juice of one lemon over the chicken.
Oh my goodness, I wish you could all smell the wonderful scent coming out of my kitchen while this dish was being made.
I then added the antipasto that I had roasted to the cooked and drained noodles. (Note: before draining your noodles, make sure to save about a coffee cup full of pasta liquid in case you need it for the sauce.) I also added the liquid from the jar of antipasto and the juices from the roasted chicken pan.
I then tossed everything together, adding the juice of one lemon and a half cup of grated parmesan and tossing again.
Once everything was combined, I placed my noodles on a plate and added a few slices of the chicken that was resting.
This dish would be wonderful using fish as well and serving with pasta. I mentioned to Dennis that I’d like to make this again, and make it in the form of a baked pasta, with layers of cheese added. Stay tuned, I may do that in the near future.
This dish would be wonderful to serve to guests. I wouldn’t hesitate to make this for a dinner party.
Ingredients for Chicken
3-4 thin sliced chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8-1/4 red pepper flakes, according to your liking
9.5 ounce jar olive tapenade
1 jar of antipasto, liquid reserved for the pasta
zest of two lemons
juice of one lemon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Lay chicken in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Sprinkle lemon zest over chicken and spoon tapenade over breasts.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until chicken registers 165 degrees.
- Remove from oven and squeeze lemon juice over chicken.
Ingredients for Roasted Antipasto and Noodles
1/2 to 1 jar antipasto (I used a half because that’s what I had left. You could definitely use the entire jar.)
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 package of rosemary sprigs
juice of one lemon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spoon antipasto onto baking sheet, saving liquid for pasta sauce.
- Add chopped garlic and rosemary to antipasto.
- Roast for 30-35 minutes, until chicken is ready.
- Boil noodles.
- Toss rosemary before adding to the contents of the pan to the pasta.
- Add antipasto, liquid from jar and liquid from chicken pan to pasta. Mix well.
- Add lemon juice and grated parmesan and toss.
- Place pasta on a serving dish, adding slices of chicken.
Until next time, Kris