SAUTÉED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH CHERRY TOMATOES, OLIVES, FETA, AND MINT

SAUTÉED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH CHERRY TOMATOES, OLIVES, FETA, AND MINT
Reprinted with permission from America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010: The Year's Best Recipes Lightened Up (America's Test Kitchen, January 2010). Copyright © 2010 by the Editors at America's Test Kitchen.

Serves 4

Chicken:
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 teaspoons canola oil
Relish:
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, (about 2 cps), halved
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons water
Salt and pepper
1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup shredded fresh mint (If desired, basil can be substituted.)

1. For the Chicken: Spread the flour in a shallow dish. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season with the salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess.

2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Carefully lay the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook until well browned on the first side, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip the chicken, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the thickest part of the breasts registers 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest while making the relish.

3. For the Relish: Add the garlic to the oil left in the skillet, return to medium heat, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, olives, and water, and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until the tomatoes are just softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in any accumulated chicken juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Pour the relish over the chicken breasts, sprinkle with the cheese and mint, and serve.

LYNNE'S TIPS
• You could substitute any fish fillet for the chicken. Two places to check about what to buy are The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch for ecological choices, and their associate, the Environmental Defense Fund for contamination information. Buy fillets that are about 1 inch thick and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, turning half way through. You want the fish barely opaque in the center.

• Other olives can stand in for the kalamatas. Look for French Niçoise, dry-cured black olives, or any number of varieties of imported green olives. If possible, taste before you buy since not all olives are created equal. If you like capers, you could add a tablespoon or two to the relish mix.

THOUGHTS FROM LYNNE
This idea of lightening up on the calories can become harder than it has to be. Instead of going the "lite" route — where you end up eating chemical-laden dishes filled with substitutes for real cheese, real bread, real meat, and real sweets — check out cuisines that are naturally healthier and lower in calories.

Look at Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian, and Japanese cooking. These are countries where, with the exception of the occasional feast of pork or fried foods, dishes are vegetable-centered, low in fat and intriguingly seasoned. You will feel better and have the fun of enjoying something new.