Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are virtually fat free, cook quickly and are mild enough to go with most any flavor. They can be sauteed using little added fat and finished with a sauce made in the same pan.
The dish is sophisticated enough for a dinner party, yet quick enough for a busy weeknight. Serve with couscous or rice-shaped orzo pasta to soak up every bit of the delicious sauce.
CHICKEN BREASTS WITH CURRANT AND THYME SAUCE
Start to finish: 30 minutes (15 minutes active)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 11/4 pounds)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 medium shallots, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dried currants
11/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer on a work surface and cover with plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, heavy skillet or a rolling pin, pound them until flattened to about 1/2-inch thick.
In a shallow dish, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge both sides of each breast through the seasoned flour.
In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat the oil and butter. Add the chicken breasts and cook until they are well browned on both sides and no longer pink at the center, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer them to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the shallots and sugar to the skillet and cook, stirring, until they begin to color, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, currants and thyme, then stir and scrape the bottom of the skillet.
In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and cornstarch. Stir the mixture into the skillet and bring to a simmer. Let cook until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve the chicken breasts topped with the sauce.
NUTRITION PER SERVING: 292 calories, 8 grams fat (3 saturated), 90 milligrams cholesterol, 18 grams carbohydrate, 35 grams protein, 1 gram fiber and 420 milligrams sodium