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Chicken Breasts Positano
from "The New Basics Cookbook" by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins


8 ripe tomatoes
1 small onion, cut lengthwise into fine slivers
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
4 bunches arugula (about 6 to 7 cups with stems trimmed), rinsed and dried
3 whole boneless skinless chicken breasts, well rinsed and patted dry
2 cups stone ground yellow cornmeal
2 tsps salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp good quality chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 eggs
1 Tbs water
olive oil

Place a strainer over a medium-size saucepan. Holding the tomatoes over the strainer, remove the cores and seeds, letting them drop into the strainer. Press on the cores with the back of a spoon to extract the juice and discard what remains in the strainer. Dice the tomato pulp and add it to the saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, and oil, and stir. Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Stir in the lemon juice and sugar. Let the mixture stand, loosely covered, in a warm place (on top of the stove or in the oven with the pilot light on) for several hours. Cut the arugula into slivers, and toss them with the tomato dressing, coating them well. Set the salad aside. Cut each chicken breast in half along the breastbone line. Remove the fillet (the finger size muscle on the back of each half), and reserve them for another use. Flatten each breast half with the flat end of a meat pounder until thin. Place cornmeal, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cayenne in a pie plate or shallow bowl, and mix well. Stir the eggs and water together in another shallow dish. Dredge the chicken pieces in the cornmeal mixture, shaking off any excess. Then dip them in the egg, and dredge them again in the cornmeal, pressing lightly to make sure it adheres well. Heat 1/8 inch of the oil in a large heavy skillet, and saute the chicken pieces until just cooked, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. To serve, place the chicken on individual plates or on a platter. Drain the arugula salad slightly, and arrange some on top of each portion; serve immediately.

Yield: 6 Servings

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