Mediterranean flavors are the ones I turn to when I'm in a cooking rut and can't figure out what to make. That's when I cook with ingredients like lemons, olives, capers, canned tomatoes, fennel, garlic, herbs and olive oil. I always have them on hand in my pantry and refrigerator for back up. It's easy to apply these flavors to give any recipe for chicken, fish and even meat a Mediterranean feel.
In this recipe I'm using lemon, fennel, and olives for an easy oven tray bake. But for some extra interest I'm not just using any lemons, instead I'm using Meyer lemons, which are more flavorful and sweeter than regular lemons. Thinly sliced and roasted along with the fennel, they become soft and entirely edible. Plus I use the lemon juice for a marinade. All the flavors harmonize so well together.
Using chicken cutlets for this recipe makes it come together very quickly. You can also make this recipe with fish, such as halibut or cod fillets. Simply continue to roast until the fish flakes easily. If you don't have access to Meyer lemons, use regular lemons or even oranges. And don't discard the fennel fronds, use it for garnish.
Broiled Chicken Breasts with Fennel, Meyer Lemon, and Green Olives
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied, cut into 4 pieces, pounded thin
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 Meyer lemons, 1 juiced, 2 thinly sliced
2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
1 cup green olives
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to a resealable plastic bag. Pour over with lemon juice and let marinate in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
Toss together the sliced fennel and sliced lemon with a drizzling of oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast unftil the fennel is tender, about 20 minutes.
Turn on the broiler.
Push the fennel and lemon toward the middle of the pan. Pat the marinated chicken dry and rub with oil. Place the chicken breasts on the pan beside the fennel and lemon. Broil for about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and scatter over with olives and garnish with fennel fronds. Yield: 4 servings.