Chicken Breasts Provencal

Sweet onion and salty olives balance tart lemon in this practical, make-ahead chicken dish.
For side dishes, caramelized fennel is de rigueur, as are potatoes or long-grained brown rice.

1 pound ripe plum tomatoes
2 shallots, skinned, halved and finely sliced.
4 (6- to 8-ounce) skinless boneless chicken breasts, tenders reserved for another use, or equivalent thighs
1/4 cup all-purpose or blending flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 flat anchovy fillet, mashed to a paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock
10 pitted brine-cured black olives, halved
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon shredded basil
Freshly ground pepper to taste
YIELD: 4 persons
COURSE: Chicken & Other Birds
  1. Dice the plum tomatoes to 1/2 inch cubes. Discard seeds and core.
  2. Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook chicken, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and keep warm, covered. Add garlic, shallots and anchovy paste to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits. Stir in tomatoes, stock, and olives and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened into a sauce, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk in butter and any juices from platter. Add chicken and simmer until just heated through; about 1 minute. Serve sprinkled with basil.