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Food Bytes PG Cookbook The Food Chain
Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Chicken-tomato sauté easily beats the clock

Thursday, April 15, 1999

By Nancy Anderson, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Like many of us, Blanche Blair keeps an eye out for different ways to prepare chicken. Often she just makes up a recipe, such as today's Countdown, and it becomes a favorite dish.

"I go home at night and cook," she said, "so I'm always looking for something fast and satisfying."

Her recipe for Sautéed Chicken Breasts and Tomatoes meets the criteria. Garlicky, juicy and full of flavor, the dish was ready in less than 20 minutes. The leftovers were divine.

Fine as it is, the recipe can be easily doctored to suit a family's tastes. If you have time, add chopped green pepper, onions or mushrooms to the sauté step.

Blanche works with her husband at the family-owned Frederick Blair Company, a lamp and lampshade store on North Craig Street in Oakland.

While raising six children -- three living in Pittsburgh, three out of town -- she invented a lot of dishes through the years. Her philosophy on cooking has always been "Let's try this," an adventurous attitude that undoubtedly enriched her family's attitude toward food.

Not all aspects of the kitchen are her forte -- "I don't like to bake" -- but cooking is something she loves and it shows in every bite of the recipe below.

Sauteed Chicken Breasts and Tomatoes

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon jarred chopped garlic
2 (141/2-ounce) cans Hunt's stewed tomatoes
Small handful fresh basil or 1/4 teaspoon dried
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Coat a large skillet generously with olive oil. Sauté chicken and garlic until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add stewed tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low flame until chicken is tender, 20 minutes or less.

Serve over rice cooked in chicken broth, along with a tossed salad and crusty bread. Serves 4.

Tested by Nancy Anderson

Do you have an entrée, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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