A saucy, delicious chicken dinner that comes together in 20 minutes? That’s what Real Simple Magazine (RS) promised in their latest issue of “Easy Dinners.” There are definitely times when you need a recipe with some built in time-saving steps like store-bought pico de gallo. Instead of chopping onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, and herbs—it’s all ready to go in a convenient package.
Pico de Gallo is usually found in the refrigerated, prepared foods section of your grocery store. Choose mild or hot depending on your spice tolerance. In an atypical move, I bought the mild, which for us was probably too low key.
RS claimed that “braising” chicken breasts in the flavorful mixture of pico de gallo (aka fresh salsa), salty green olives, and tart capers ensures tender, not rubbery, meat. I have to disagree on two counts. First, “braising” is a long slow process and this definitely is not. And real braising results in mouth-watering tender and juicy meat, while we thought the breasts were a bit rubbery.
In the end, I did add some chopped fresh cilantro which helped add another flavor component. And instead of serving with tortillas, we spooned ours over rice steamed in homemade chicken broth, which again upped the flavor quotient.
All-in-all, the meal was light, fresh and colorful which would pair better with warmer climates than mid-Decmber in the Northeast U.S. Oh well, you live and learn. We would probably make it again when the temps are balmy, but choosing a salsa with more depth of flavor—or make our own.
Oddly enough, when we both had it a couple of days later, we thought the flavor profile improved, as did the chicken. I guess the added time allowed the flavors to further develop. Maybe it’s a good idea to make it one day, and serve it the next…
Chicken with Salsa, Olives and Lime
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups refrigerated pico de gallo
- ½ cup chopped green olives (such as Castelvetrano)
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- Tortillas and lime wedges, for serving
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper.
- Add chicken to skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, flipping halfway through, about 4 minutes per side.
- Add pico de gallo, olives, and capers and bring to a simmer. Simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Serve chicken with tortillas (or over rice) and lime wedges.