13 August 2011

Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Herbs

So I'm sure upon reading this post, my mom will be shocked that I'm sharing a recipe with tomatoes as one of the main ingredients. I am not a fan of tomatoes.  I would pick them out of spaghetti sauce as a child. The closest thing I would eat to tomatoes when I was little was ketchup and pizza sauce.  To this day, I'll still pick tomatoes out of a salad and give them to my husband.  Bruschetta with chopped tomatoes and fresh herbs--nope.  Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella--only the cheese, please.  Chunky salsa--chips dipped to absorb juice only, no chunks. 
I feel like, as an adult, I should be past this picking-stuff-out-of-my-salad phase.  Tomatoes are a grown-up food.  And good for you.  So why am I so averse to them?  I don't know.  But I made a decision a little while ago to make myself at least try recipes with fresh tomatoes.  I've come across some that have been OK. Some that the husband loved (read: chock full of tomatoes and little else).  But none that I have truly enjoyed.  Until I came across this recipe in this month's Bon Appetit.  I had to share it. The tomatoes are both sweet and a little sour, the butter adds a nice richness to it, and the herbs make it taste light and fresh. All together it makes for a tasty dish.  You only need a nice green salad to go along side.

BA has this great section in it called "Fast, Easy, Fresh", and that is exactly how I would describe this dish.  It is really simple.  All you do is mix some oregano and spices into soft butter, sautee up some chicken breasts in some of the butter, then char up some tomatoes in that same pan. And you're pretty much done.  Mom will be so proud, I'm eating my tomatoes!
Some notes on this recipe:
- Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the chicken breasts to make sure they are done right, not too raw, not too dry. You're looking for a temp 150-155F.  Tenting them with foil after this point and letting them rest will increase the temperature and redistribute the juices back through the meat, keeping it moist.
- After you remove the chicken from the pan, toss the tomatoes right in on top of the pan juices and any bits from the chicken.  There is lots of flavor in what is left over and you don't want to lose it.  
- Get a good char on the tomatoes, again, another good source of flavor.  Once they get a little caramelized, that's when they start to get sweet.
Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Herbs
slightly adapted From Bon Appetit
Printable version
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
4 cups mixed cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 lbs)
2 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Mash butter, garlic, oregano, and paprika in a small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2.  Add half of the oregano butter to a medium heavy skillet and melt over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet, cover, and cook until no longer pink in center, or a thermometer reads 150-155F, about 5 minutes per side (depending on how big thick the chicken is). Transfer chicken to a plate. Tent chicken with foil to keep warm.
3. Increase heat to high. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to char and burst, about 5 minutes. Add remaining oregano butter to skillet. Crush tomatoes slightly to release juices; stir 1 minute. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon tomato sauce over chicken. Garnish with parsley.

1 comment:

  1. Cooking is interesting and also food photography...I think it makes a wonderful subject for photography as it is vibrant is colours and textures.