Wednesdays Unplugged – Sicilian Lemon Chicken with Raisin-Tomato Sauce


"Every day may not be good, but there's some good in every day."
~ Unknown
NOTE: I spend my Wednesdays Unplugged from appointments. It's my day to stay home, enjoy cooking and welcome our kids and
grandkids for dinner in the evening. We end our meal with quotes from
the Norwegian 'Quote Cup' passed on to me from my grandmother. I share a
quote and a recipe here each week, and sometimes some photos of family
fun. I love trying new recipes…and love getting recipes you would like to share!

Summer came in with a boom last Friday evening… literally!  First we got cell phone alarm flash flood warnings, immediately followed by torrential wind and rain raising the creek to its limits… then silence except for the pounding rain as we lost electricity. It was amazing how many mature trees were felled at the roots, many blocking roads… resulting in the biggest electrical outage in Minnesota history. We were without power until Saturday night, our daughter until Sunday night, and our son until Monday afternoon. The flip side to the devastation and realization of how much we depend on electrical power was the gift of quiet time… I couldn't do my computer work, so had time to read a book… neighbors gathered together outside to assess damage and discuss the storm… we went to see Monsters University with our grandchildren… as with everything, there was good along with the bad…

This week's recipe is one I pulled out of my file of recipes that I had prepared for a Wednesday night dinner and liked… this one from 2008, before I started recording the recipes in my blog. I don't know why I like angel hair pasta so much, but I do… this one has seared lemon chicken breasts with a sweet and tangy sauce served over angel hair pasta.

  • 1 1/2 cups golden raisins
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium and 1 small onion, halved an thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 4 tablespoons chopped Mediterranean olives
  • 3 1/2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 – 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons julienned fresh basil
  • 1 – 16 ounce package angel hair pasta
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded flat
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced (reserve separately)
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Sprigs fresh basil

Soak the raisins in warm water until they plump, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. stir in the onion, garlic, pine nuts and olives. Season with bay leaves, oregano and cayenne. Cook until the onions have softened and begun to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper; cook for 5 more minutes. Add the raisins, balsamic vinegar and sugar; cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 5 more minutes. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the julienned basil. Cover and keep warm.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

While the pasta is cooking heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. While the skillet is heating, toss the chicken with the lemon juice. Cook the chicken on both sides until golden brown and juices run clear, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a warm plate, and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

To serve, slice chicken breasts against the grain and fan out over pasta. Top with tomato sauce, sprinkle with lemon zest and Parmesan cheese. Garnish with springs of fresh basil.

Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – EmailMinneapolis Realtor Who Cooks


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I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

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