Not too long ago my child decided to take his picky eating status to the next level and completely refuse to eat anything that wasn’t smothered in cheese, in hot dog form, part of the berry family, frozen mini pancakes or one of his three salty favorites- capers, olives and bacon. Since Octavian stopped nursing, I’ve tried not to make a huge deal about eating and food. He’ll eat when he’s hungry and stop when he’s full. As long as he eats something, we’re good. But there needs to be boundaries. His grandmother may allow him to eat hotdogs for breakfast when he stays over at her house, but that will never happen in my home. Chips and sugary yogurt will never be considered healthy snacks. And a diet consisting of the same ten things on repeat over and over for weeks at a time can’t be a good thing.
That said, I have been very fortunate. My son has yet to develop a sweet tooth like his mama. In fact, on the few times he’s been given a cookie or (small) bowl of ice cream, he rarely finishes. Hot dogs, though? Yeah, he can easily eat five or more if you let him (and totally plain, my kid doesn’t like carbs).
Anywho, a while back, as my child was begging for spoonfuls of capers instead of the chicken I baked him, I decided I would make him his very own chicken skillet. I actually refer to this skillet as “Octavian Chicken” because it basically has his name written all over it (minus the hot dogs). No, you guys, it’s not like I revolutionized what he was eating, but I managed to get him to eat a plate of food with more than just 5 slices of bacon on it or a big jar of olives. I even snuck some rice in the sauce and he gobbled it right up!
As you may imagine, this is a heavy, filling dish. I recommend serving with a side of rice or quinoa or crusty loaf of bread, and definitely, definitely a big healthy side of vegetables (steamed or roasted carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, etc).
Skillet Chicken with Bacon, Caper and Olive Sauce
- 1.5 lbs boneless-skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
- 5 slices bacon, sliced into small cubes
- 3 shallots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- .5 cup dry white wine
- .5 cup half and half
- 3-4 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp capers, drained
- .5 cup green olives, chopped
- salt + pepper, to taste
- chopped parsley, for serving
- Remove chicken breasts from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature (if time allows). To ensure even cooking, pound chicken breasts until they are uniform in thickness. Rub the chicken breasts with a thin coat of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook for approximately 6-8 minutes, or until crispy and fat has rendered. Stir occasionally. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon, leaving 1-2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan.
- Return heat to medium, medium-high. Add chicken to the skillet, leaving space between each chicken breast. Cook for approximately 5-6 minutes or until the chicken turns white 1/2 way up the thickest side. If it appears that the chicken is browning too fast, reduce heat slightly. Flip each chicken breast and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
- Remove chicken from the skillet and transfer to a clean plate. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- Over medium heat add the shallots to the skillet. Sautè the shallots for 3-4 minutes, or until just starting to soften. Stir frequently. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add the wine to the skillet and cook until wine has reduced by half. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the half and half, water and any juices from the resting chicken. Bring to a simmer and stir in the capers, bacon, olives and chopped parsley and add the chicken back into the skillet. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat.
- Place the chicken on individual serving plates and top with sauce. Serve with roasted vegetables, rice or potatoes.