chicken with tomato-herb pan sauce.

Your fearless leaders are both back at work today after a long weekend in South Carolina. I’ve officially succeeded at life in general, as I finally got Christina to a Carolina game in a dress. And tights. And boots.

We made some good tailgate fare, and I am sure Christina plans to blog about that this week but today I want to tell you about the Chicken with Tomato-Herb Pan Sauce I made last night.

The past week was iffy in the meal planning category – I was out of town for the weekend, and we were busy most nights of the week in addition to Christina’s arrival on Thursday. We had some baked chicken and some salad and a few nights out. Yesterday, both Matt and I were glad to see a boring week ahead of us, as it meant we could get back on track with good, healthy suppers. We both wanted something comforting and tasty for supper last night, so I finally called on a long-pinned recipe to help us out.

This is beyond good. In fact, I might start making my own flavored butters in which to cook chicken — it’s amazing how much flavor a tablespoon of garlic-oregano butter can impart on an otherwise bland piece of meat. This recipe is going into the favorites category and I can’t wait to make it next summer with some heirloom baby tomatoes from Rosebank. Until then, grape tomatoes it is!

Chicken with Tomato-Herb Pan Sauce
adapted from Pink Parsley

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs chopped fresh basil

In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, dried oregano and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the oregano butter with the 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Reduce to medium-high when the butter stops foaming. Add the chicken breasts in the skillet and sauté until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Flip and continue cooking 3-4 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm while preparing sauce.

Increase heat to high and add tomatoes to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add remaining butter and the balsamic vinegar. Crush tomatoes slightly to release their juices and continue stirring until butter has melted. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the skillet to loosen the browned bits. Stir in the fresh basil.  Slice chicken and top with tomato sauce.

My Notes:

  • The original recipe calls for you to flour the chicken before you cook it. I totally forgot to do this and it was fine.
  • I also forgot the paprika. Whoops.
  • The original recipe also calls for you to add fresh oregano and parsley with the basil at the end. I can take or leave fresh oregano, and do not like parsley so I left both out.
  • Finally, the original recipe calls for you to add a couple teaspoons of olive oil to the butter before you cook the chicken. I did not do this, as I felt the butter was enough fat. Again, I thought cooking in butter was a remarkable way to cook chicken, and a great alternative to the more typical olive oil method.
  • Matt cooked a big pot of Geechie Boy grits to put the chicken and pan sauce over, and they were fantastic. Cooking grits is an imperfect science, but you can see how Christina makes them here.
— jcristg, still recovering from the weekend.

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