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Tonight I was making some farfalle (Italian for "butterfly", American for "bowtie") Alfredo and I wanted some chicken to go with it. I wanted something that tasted Italian, but I needed it to be quick and easy.

You don't need me to tell you that boneless skinless chicken breasts can be, and often are, boring. The good news is that they are good for you and, with a little help, can be quite nice. My family enjoyed these, and they are certainly better than what you'd be served at most chain Italian restaurants.

Using some standard ingredients I was able to come up with something that was just what I was after. I thought I'd write a quick post to share it while it's still fresh in my mind. Be sure to see the afterthoughts at the end for more ideas.

3 Boneless skinless chicken breasts, well-trimmed
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp Dry Italian seasoning
4 Tbsp Italian salad dressing (I used zesty Italian)

Pound each breast between layers of plastic wrap to get them to a uniform thickness (about 1/2").

Season each side with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the top (nice clean side) of each breast with Italian seasoning and let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.

When the oil just starts to smoke, add the chicken breasts, Italian seasoning-side down.

Cook approximately three minutes.

Just before you turn them, add about two teaspoons of the Italian dressing to the what is now the top of each breast.

Turn the breasts over and add another two teaspoons of the Italian dressing to the cooked side of each breast (click the picture to see this step).

Continue cooking another three minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to help distribute the dressing.

Turn the breasts again and cook another minute.

Remove to a plate and let them rest about five minutes.

Slice and enjoy.

  • Of course, this would also work very well on the grill. I just happened to be indoors today.
  • The leftovers make a great chicken salad. Just chop the cooled breasts into 1/3" cubes and mix with some diced celery, sliced scallions, mayo (low fat or olive oil-based are good healthier options), garlic salt, pepper, and some Italian dressing. Refrigerate at least one hour to allow the flavors to marry. Put some of this salad on a flour tortilla (I like spinach or sun-dried tomato) with some lettuce and tomato, wrap, and enjoy a great simple lunch.

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