TODAY   |  October 15, 2013

Mangia! Try these Sicilian-style chicken breasts

Lidia Bastianich, owner of several successful restaurants around the country, shares some delicious recipes: chicken breasts with orange and gaeta olives and a yummy pear bread pudding.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> easy fall recipes from her new cook book called lidia's common sense italian cooking.

>> pleasure being here.

>> you think entertaining family and friends one of the most important things we can do. a lot of people go in and get intimidated right off the bat.

>> that's the whole idea. be comfortable and get in the kitchen and use your common sense .

>> take chances too.

>> a recipe, this is a perfect example. simple chicken . just a little bit of flour and -- are you ready to get in here?

>> sure. absolutely.

>> you're a common sense kind of guy.

>> absolutely. sometimes too much. but that's okay.

>> all right.

>> so dredge them in flour a little bit.

>> and put them in here. you notice here i put a little bit of oil and butter. low temperature . a lot of people cook things at very high temperatures, especially chicken and it gets tough.

>> all right. while that's cooking -- that's not going to take long.

>> it's not going to take long. just flip them over. here we have some onions. oh, there's more butter right in there. here we have red onions and we get the chicken , sauteed chicken .

>> we'll pretend that's done.

>> exactly to expedite things. you want it nice and caramelized.

>> you're going to add flavors that are contradictory.

>> what's so contradictory about this?

>> just the olives and to rang and things like that.

>> this is sicily .

>> well, this is actually not sicily but that's all right.

>> this is about sicily .

>> okay. take me to sicily with you.

>> come on. loosen up.

>> what's this over here.

>> fennel powder.

>> a lot of people love it. a lot of people don't. could you leave it out or is it necessary.

>> you could leave it out. you could substitute it. let's say that you like, i don't know, instead of fennel you like whatever. this is what common sense is all about. i give you a recipe but you can make it your own. you don't like fennel?

>> i do sometimes. but not all the time.

>> but like this, mill like that in a spice mill?

>> i probably would but in seed form it's tougher.

>> exactly. a little bit of wine. there you go.

>> i'm right with you. how long will this cook now?

>> just a few minutes. just reduce it. bring it up and reduce it, a little bit of salt. get a little salt.

>> got it.

>> as much salt as you like.

>> could you make this sauce in advance? would it hold in the fringe?

>> absolutely. but the chicken -- it's your pot. you're going to have this for lunch.

>> i'm not waiting until lunch by the way but that's all right.

>> don't put the chicken in the refrigerator but the sauce you could have. you bring it hot and saut? the chicken and put it in.

>> what a pretty presentation. it looks beautiful.

>> it's simple. just a little bit of that.

>> bring that over.

>> absolutely. right here.

>> common sense italian dessert now.

>> eggs. we have custard. there's about six eggs in there. we'll make a bread pudding with pears and they're in season but you can make witt apple or anything else. let's put a little bit of cream. keep whipping. we're not finished yet.

>> you're a tough task master, do you know that?

>> some milk. some sugar and again, here, you know, i put a little lemon, a little vanilla but you can put cinnamon. what you feel that you like the flavors or whatever. and old bread.

>> does it have to be old? you can't use fresh bread?

>> it's a great way of using old bread.

>> does it absorb better when it's older?

>> yes and here i have whole wheat. any bread that you have is great for this. you let it soak up a little bit. let's put the pears. now how simple is that.

>> you're going to put it in a baking dish.

>> right there into a butter baking dish.

>> you're a little mess in the kitchen.

>> okay.

>> good job.

>> no, no, you have to