Depending on whom you ask, the mild taste of chicken is either a merit or a handicap. Is it a blank canvas or a bland cutlet? The answer, of course, is that it’s both. All good cooks know this and use it to their advantage, easily transforming a ho-hum piece of chicken into a savory main dish by virtue of just a few added ingredients. When cheese is one of those additions, the dish gains exactly what chicken lacks—a melty richness, a little luxury, some softening around the flavor edges. If the cheese is a complex one, it can even add a bit of intrigue. Imagine that. Better yet, taste it with any of the main-dish chicken recipes featured here. When the bird meets curd, it’s all good.
A generous crumbling of ricotta salata (aged ricotta) adds depth of flavor to this classic Italian favorite
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat. In a large nonstick pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Working in two batches, saute the chicken until browned, about 3 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, slice the onion; then seed and cut the peppers into strips, mince the garlic, and slice the mushrooms.
Once the chicken has been browned and set aside, add a little more oil to the skillet if necessary and saute the onion, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the peppers and saute another 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and saute, stirring frequently, until softened, another 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes (with their juices) and the oregano. Bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Top with the olives and ricotta salata and serve.
Recipes by Jacqueline Plant
Photography by Matt Armendariz
Styling: Adam Pearson