Chicken Breasts with Hazel Nuts

This is easy to do, and the contrast between the chicken meat and the crunchy nuts will be quite nice. As an alternative to hazelnuts, walnuts will also work well.

Ingredients to serve 4:
– 2 whole chicken breasts, halved, butterflied, and lightly pounded to flatten them out
– 1/4 cup (50 g) unsalted butter
– A cup of brut spumante — Dry Prosecco will be fine
– 1/2 cup shelled hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
– Olive oil
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 2 tablespoons broth (canned will work) or hot water
– A few sprigs of parsley

Procedure:
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and one of butter in a sauce pan, and saute’ the chicken breasts, turning them once. When they have browned on both sides, sprinkle them with the spumante, season them, and simmer them for about ten minutes.
When the chicken breasts are done, remove them from the pan to platter and set them in a warm place. Stir the chopped nuts into the pan drippings, together with the water or broth. Bind the sauce with the remaining butter.
Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts, garnish them with the parsley, and serve.

Serve it with…
This will work well with a delicate side dish along the lines of bulb fennel sliced, boiled briefly in lightly salted water, and then seasoned with white sauce, dusted lightly with grated cheese, and broiled for a few minutes, until lightly browned. The wine? A Valpolicella Classico would be nice.

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