Chicken a la Barone

When I was growing up, there were two restaurants (well, maybe three) that were my father’s favorite haunts. One was Barone’s at the end of the road where his business was and we went there many many times over the years before it closed, with his goombas (long before The Sopranos made that word popular), with members of my family individually, with all of us. We went there the year before he died, to celebrate my PhD and the owner’s father-in-law gave me a bottle of Amaretto to celebrate with.

This recipe is based on a dish I had there long ago. I think it was originally made with veal and this recipe contains a lot less fat. Not sure what they called it. It should serve four.
1/2 t. salt

3/4 t. fennel seeds, crushed

1/4 t. black pepper

1/4 t. garlic powder

1/4 t. dried oregano

1/4 t. dried red pepper (optional — depends on your taste for hot — I like it)

4 6 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 sweet Italian chicken sausages (precooked, like the Trader Joe kind), thinly sliced

2 T. olive oil

Cooking spray

1 thinly sliced yellow bell pepper

1 thinly sliced red bell pepper

1/2 C. thinly sliced shallot (about 1 large)

1 1/2 t. chopped fresh rosemary

1 C. chicken broth (used low-sodium, low fat)

1 T. balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450.

Heat skillet over medium high heat. Combine salt, fennel, pepper, garlic, and oregano. Brush chicken with a little olive oil and sprinkle spice rub over it. Add oil to pan. Add chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until browned.

Turn chicken over; cook another minute. Arrange in a glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes.

Return pan to medium-high heat. Add chicken sausage. Saute until browned, about 3 minutes. Remove chicken sausage and set aside.

Add peppers, shallots, and rosemary to pan. Saute for about 3 minutes, then stir in broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high. Add vinegar and a bit more salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add chicken sausage, pour over chicken breasts, and serve.

I’d serve this with some potatoes mashed with a bit of cream cheese or mascarpone and milk.

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