Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.

Skillet Basil Chicken with Peppers, Onion and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in 2-inch-by-1/2-inch thick slices

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

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3 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 3 ½ cups)

8 garlic cloves, sliced

1 medium orange or red bell pepper, sliced

1/3 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced

1/3 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

1. Toss the chicken with the flour, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cayenne pepper.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add half the chicken and cook, turning once, 3 minutes, until browned and almost cooked through. Transfer to a plate and add the remaining chicken to the skillet and repeat.

3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil to the skillet and stir in the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper and cook 2 minutes longer. Add the reserved chicken and sun-dried tomatoes; cook until heated through, 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 317 calories, 26 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 15 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 523 mg sodium

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Greek-Flavored Chicken

4 4-ounce boneless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼-inch thickness

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

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2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 medium red onions, chopped (about 2 cups)

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 plum tomatoes, chopped in ½-inch pieces

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1/4 cup pitted calamata olives, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup crumbled feta

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1. Season the chicken with the salt, oregano and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the chicken and cook until the underside is browned, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 160 degrees, about 4 more minutes. Transfer to a plate and drape loosely.

2. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet; stir in the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the tomato and vinegar and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes are soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the olives and return the chicken to the pan, turning once, to warm through for about 2 minutes.

3. Transfer the chicken to plates and top with the cooked mixture; sprinkle with the feta and parsley. Makes 4 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 285 calories, 26 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 15 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 654 mg sodium

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Chicken Marsala

4 4-ounce chicken breasts, pounded to ¼-inch thick

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

12 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup Marsala

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup parsley, chopped

1. Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the chicken and cook until browned on the underside, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees, about another 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and drape loosely.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet; add the mushrooms, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and cook until the mushrooms just begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes until slightly softened. Add the Marsala and broth and cook, stirring, until the liquid begins to thicken, about 1 minute. Return the chicken to the skillet and cook, turning once to warm through, about 2 minutes. Just before serving, sprinkle with the parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 260 calories, 26 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 509 mg sodium

TIP: Store-prepared, thin-sliced chicken breasts are thinner than 1/4-inch; they are less meaty and will cook much faster than the directions in the recipes below.