This comes from a cookbook called, “High Flavor Low Labor - Reinventing Weeknight Cooking” by J.M. Hirsch.  If you’re looking for ways to mix-up meal ideas - this is a fantastic book to add to your library.

You start by making a compound butter - made up of Anchovy Paste, Butter and Red Pepper Flakes.  The recipe calls for oil-packed anchovies - but Anchovy Paste is much simpler in my mind to use (and store!).

I like this recipe because I can make the butter in advance.  It’s 1 stick of butter, 2 teaspoons anchovy paste and a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Mix it all together and then refrigerate until you are ready to use.  You could also freeze this for a good week or so if you wanted to get a jumpstart!  The recipe instructions say to use a food processor to mix the butter together, but I find if the butter is softened, it’s a breeze to mix together.

Then you’ll need chicken breasts, boneless/skinless.  The recipe says to use 2 chicken breasts and cut them horizontally through the center to form 2 thin halves - and then to pound out to 1/4 inch.  If my chicken breasts are already thin, I just pound them out to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch.

Then all you have to do is season the chicken breasts (on both sides) with pepper.  We like a lot of pepper - and we also use garlic powder.  You don’t need any salt because the anchovy butter will have a very pleasant salty taste.  Feel free to season your chicken in the morning and cover it tightly and place in the fridge until you are ready to cook later in the day.

Once you’re ready to cook - pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees.  This is simply to keep the chicken warm while you finish cooking the remaining amount of chicken and pasta.

Ok ... once you’re ready - take about 1/4 cup or so of all-purpose flour and season it with garlic powder (or we just add the garlic powder right to the chicken when seasoning it with pepper).

Then take your thinly pounded and seasoned chicken breasts and dredge them through the flour.  Once each side is coated, set aside ---- now the real fun begins!

In a large skillet, melt a quarter of the anchovy butter.  The recipe says to use medium-high heat - but we’ve found the butter browns too quickly, we use medium-low.

Once the butter is bubbling, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook until lightly browned on the bottom, the recipe suggests about 3 minutes per side - and that is right on with what we have found.  The secret to making this work is to be sure your chicken is nice and thin.

There is something magical that happens when the anchovy butter hits the warm skillet.  The smell is intoxicating.  I remember the first time I made this - Eric and I both looked at each other in amazement of the transformation of flavors when the butter is heated.  Couple that with nicely seasoned chicken and you have a winner of a meal!

Once your chicken is cooked through, that is when the recipe suggests covering it in foil and placing it in the oven to keep warm.

When you do the next 2 chicken breasts, you add another 1/4 of the anchovy butter to the skillet to cook them in.

We serve ours with a side of angel hair pasta.  The recipe uses fettuccine.

Once all the chicken is done, the recipe says to add your cooked and drained pasta to the skillet with the remaining anchovy butter and tossing it until it melts.

We prefer adding the remaining butter to the hot saucepan that we used to cook our pasta in.  And then we simply add the hot cooked pasta back to the pan with the anchovy butter.  The reason being is our skillet gets kind of messy - maybe it’s just us - but this is how it works for us.

Then we add a couple of minced garlic cloves to the pasta and sometimes toss with parsley - or just top it off at the end when we freshly grate our Parmesan cheese over the top!  We also scrape any last bits of the anchovy butter and allow it to melt directly on top of the cooked chicken before grating Parmesan Cheese on top.

And this meal is over the top.  It’s simple and can be prepared ahead in stages.  And I love the fact that it uses something most of us enjoying eating - but are always looking for new ideas - the humble Chicken Breast.

Serve it with a green salad and some crusty bread to enjoy any last bits of the anchovy butter.  ENJOY!!