Zesty chicken with raisin-tomato sauce

    1 hour 25 min

    A dish that doesn't require much effort, but the results are extravagant. Chicken breasts are seared and served with a delicious, raisin and tomato sauce over pasta.

    50 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 125g raisins
    • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
    • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
    • 2 tablespoons chopped black olives
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes, drained
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
    • 450g spaghetti or any other pasta you prefer
    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 4 (175g) skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets
    • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
    • 4 tablespoons shaved Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan) cheese
    • 4 sprigs fresh basil

    Prep:45min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:1hr25min 

    1. Soak the raisins in warm water until they plump, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
    2. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, pine nuts and olives. Season with bay leaves, oregano and cayenne. Cook until the onions have softened and begun to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper; cook for 5 more minutes. Add the raisins, balsamic vinegar and sugar; cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 5 more minutes. Remove the bay leaves and stir in the basil. Cover and keep warm.
    3. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
    4. While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. While the frying pan is heating, toss the chicken with the lemon juice to coat (the lemon zest will be used later). Cook the chicken on both sides until golden brown and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a warm plate and allow to rest for about five minutes.
    5. To serve, slice each chicken breast against the grain into thin slices. Divide the pasta into four wide, shallow bowls. Fan the chicken slices out over top of the pasta and spoon the tomato mix over them. Sprinkle with lemon zest, Parmigiano Reggiano and a sprig of basil to garnish.

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    Reviews in English (44)


    Wow, wow, wow! This is one superb dish! I used sliced black olives instead of chopped and also seasoned the chicken breasts with some seasoning salt and black pepper. Used bottled lemon juice as I didn;t have fresh on hand. Also, flatten out your chicken breasts before frying. What an excellent meal. Cannot wait to make this again for friends. Probably one of my top five recipes from Allrecipes.  -  25 Jan 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I was really impressed with the flavor of this recipe. I only made two changes (due to a lack of ingredients on hand): I left out the olives (don't like them anyway) and substituted chopped cashews for the pine nuts. My husband thought it was too sweet and suggested that next time we use double the tomatoes and half the raisins. I really like the sweetness of the raisins, though, so I guess it depends on how sweet you like your sauce. I also cut the chicken into strips before I cooked it, just because the pieces I had were really large, and it came out just fine. I will do this again, with some sort of compromise between the raisins and tomatoes so that my husband doesn't have a little pile of raisins on the side of his plate by the time dinner is over. This would be a great dish to serve for a dinner party, and you could easily make the sauce in advance, even the night before, which is what I think I'll do next time.  -  31 Oct 2006  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This has great flavor. I would double the sauce next time. I call this a dry pasta vs. a saucy pasta. I would also decrease the pasta. My changes were-decrease raisins to 1/2 cup, do not drain the tomatoes and added 1/2 cup chicken broth. I did use chicken tenders. I did not think the olives gave it much flavor.  -  04 Jan 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)