Avec Eric is a PBS TV show in the United States. It features the Eric Ripert, co-owner and executive chef of Le Bernardin in NYC – still one of the most highly rated restaurants in NYC.
The show involves a visit to a part of the world, talking to fishermen or farmers or chefs. From his travels he gains inspiration and the shows end with Mr. Ripert preparing a dish influenced by what he saw, tasted, and learned.
Sometimes, for me, he is hard to understand because of his pretty heavy French accent. I shouldn’t really comment because my French is terrible, and at least Mr. Ripert is bi-lingual. But what really comes across in Avec Eric is his love of all things food and wine, and his perfectionism. And he seems like a really nice man.
What does make me laugh is that he’s best friends with Anthony Bourdain. Can you imagine a more opposite pairing of people?!!!
In any case, the recipe I’m posting today is based on one I saw Mr. Ripert make at the end of his show, after he visited Chianti, Italy, to witness olive oil production.
The recipe has many ingredients, and I’ve even left a few out. But the flavors and textures are fantastic.
Based on Eric Ripert’s recipe, to serve 1
2 tablespoons white raisins
2 tablespoons vincotto
2-3 small ripe tomatoes
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Sliced green olives
1 breast chicken
Chiffonade of basil
Soak the raisins in the vincotto, warmed slightly, and set aside.
Set the oven on 450 degrees.
De-seed and finally chop the tomatoes and place in a small bowl. Add the shallot and garlic, and olives and capers according to your taste. Season with salt and pepper, stir well, and set aside.
Pour a little olive oil in a small baking dish.
Slice the chicken breast horizontally, without cutting all the way through, so as to butterfly it. Place it in the baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
Add the raisins and vincotto to the tomato mixture along with a little dried thyme.
Stir well, then spoon the mixture on top of the chicken.
Sprinkle on a few pine nuts and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn off the oven but keep the skillet in the oven 5 more minutes.
Immediately place the paillard on a plate. Drizzle the liquid from the baking dish over the chicken.
But we’re not done yet. Sprinkle on the basil and add a squeeze of lemon, and then serve!
Cooked this way, the tomato mixture caramelizes with the high heat, but the chicken remains moist.
Because it’s still summer where I live and I was able to use wonderfully ripe tomatoes, I celebrated this dish along with rosé.
This recipe can be doubled or quadrupled.