End-Of-Summer Tomato Chicken, and a Sacrificial Foot

2 Sep

So my plan today was to make a chicken and pasta dish inspired by the flavors of bruschetta. You know bruschetta. Tomatoes, garlic, herbs, and a little cheese on toasted bread slices? Yum, right? I got all of my ingredients together and started cooking, and ended up with something that was really tasty and fresh and simple, but not like bruschetta. I’ll keep working on that.

I also hurt my foot. I’ll survive, but want you to know the sacrifice this dinner was, all so I could give my beloved readers this recipe. **cue violins** More on that in a few, just for kicks and giggles.

I didn’t want to use diced tomatoes because I didn’t want them to cook down into a sauce, so I went with cherry tomatoes. They pop open when you cook them in a pan, and their juices mix with whatever else is in the pan and it’s all nummy and good without cooking down.

I also thought I’d start with an onion, and realized I didn’t have one. Weird. I did have a shallot, so I went with that. You can use either, so long as it’s finely diced.

I say to slice the chicken into two thin pieces. That means butterfly it (cut it open like a book, holding your hand on top of the breast while the knife slices through the middle of it underneath your palm, giving you the top and bottom of a breast, not into strips) but cut all the way through. I had whole breasts in the freezer so went with that, but you could also just buy the thin-sliced chicken breasts at the grocery store and skip that step. You want a thin cutlet of chicken for this. Either way works.

The olives are optional. I had them and threw them in on a whim. The lemon juice was also a whim, but I like it–I sprinkled it in after tasting one of the tomatoes in the cooked dish, and it complimented those and the oregano.

We ate this over farfalle noodles (bow tie pasta) with some steamed green beans done quickly in the microwave, and everyone liked it–DH actually raved, “This is excellent.” Ā I have it marked as a gluten-free recipe; just omit the pasta or use rice pasta to keep it that way. The chicken is tender and with the tomatoes, olives, and other ingredients, pops with a fresh, slightly salt-kissed, and oh-so-subtle lemon that was wonderful. We’re adding it to our regular dinner rotation. I hope you do too.

To make my end-of-summer tomato chicken, you’ll need:

Olive oil

Two boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced through, or four thin-sliced breasts from the butcher

Salt and pepper

One clove of garlic, diced

One large or two small shallots, or half an onion, finely diced

1 1/2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes

1 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1/2 tbsp dried)

2 tbsp fresh basil (or 1 tbsp dried)

1/4 cup sliced olives (I used green, but black would work too)

The juice of 1/2 lemon

Heat a large flat pan over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, coat the bottom with olive oil. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and saute it until it’s lightly brown. Remove it to a plate.

Turn the heat down to medium-low. In the same pan, cook the garlic and shallot or onion for about a minute, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes and cook those until most of them burst, stirring every few minutes and tossing them in the shallot/garlic mixture.

When the tomatoes are about done, nestle the chicken back into the pan. Spoon the tomato mixture on top of the chicken. Cover it and let it cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the olives and herbs, sprinkle with the lemon juice, and serve over pasta with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Ploy for Sympathy: Yes, I had a kitchen accident making this dish. It was late in the day and I remembered an evening interview I had to do for my paying work, and I was flying around the kitchen like a madperson. I plopped the chicken into the pan a bit too enthusiastically, the oil sloshed out, and I paid the price for my bare feet. It’s a lovely burn, red and burny. All for you, dear readers. The sacrifice I make, you see? šŸ˜‰ So the lesson is to watch the rushing around when hot oil’s concerned, and you might want to wear shoes when you cook if you’re an uncoordinated spaz like me. šŸ™‚

2 Responses to “End-Of-Summer Tomato Chicken, and a Sacrificial Foot”

  1. Ali September 2, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    This sounds delicious!! And I love that it can be made Gluten Free!!

  2. NatureMama September 9, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    This recipe is fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

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