Chicken with Pan-Seared Tomatoes (and a video too)

Are you worn out from all the July 4th prep, partying and cleanup? We had a fun Fourth--just a simple family backyard BBQ but I'm still tired (and a bit cranky!) Life's been extremely hectic lately, what with a week in Rochester for my daughter's hockey and helping my mom pack up her house for her upcoming move. And here it is Monday already! Yikes! Well, at least here's some help in the dinner department. This Chicken with Pan-Seared Tomatoes has that restaurant bistro thing going for it but can be put together in under half an hour. Just what we need to get us going when the work week seems to have come too soon!

In addition to my griping,  I also wanted to share a another video segment of me cooking, brought to you courtesy of the good people at Hooplaha. This one features my son Simon and I preparing my Star Ice Cream Sandwiches. It was a lot of fun to make and with Simon away from home most of the year now, I've watched it like a 100 times already! Makes me not miss him so much! Take a look and let me know what you think.

With my kids out of school and everyone on random schedules, I love meals that I can throw together with ingredients I have on hand and that take very little advance planning. And that's what I'm talking about here. Basically all you do is make a seasoned butter, toss it into a skillet and cook thin sliced chicken breasts that have been dredged in flour until they're nice and golden brown.

Then you add the cherry tomatoes, which you don't even have to cut, (another great timesaver!) and let them cook until they begin to char and burst. This not only makes the tomatoes taste great, but leaves you with the beginnings of a wonderful pan sauce as well, to which you supplement with a little white wine or chicken broth.

The chicken is tender and the tomatoes burst in your mouth. So delicious and light--perfect for a casual summer stress-free dinner. I served this with my Sauteed Sesame Spinach (another quickie) and there was even time to take advantage of the increased daylight hours and take cranky me for a short impromptu after-dinner walk! I'm so glad summer is here!


Chicken with Pan-Seared Tomatoes (and a video too)

Makes about 4 servings
Prep Time:  30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 packages thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds--if you can only find thicker ones, slice in half lengthwise to get thinner cutlets)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced (I didn't have any in the house when I made this, but it would be a good addition)

The Recipe

1.  Place flour in a shallow bowl or plate. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off any excess and transfer to a plate.

2.  In a small bowl, mash softened butter with garlic and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture. When sizzling, add the chicken and cook for about 4 minutes per side, until golden brown. You may have to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your pan. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

3.  In the same skillet, add the tomatoes and increase the heat to high. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the tomatoes begin to char and burst. Add the remaining butter mixture to the pan and crush the tomatoes slightly to help them release more of their juices. Stir until the butter is melted. Add the wine or broth and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any of the browned bits stuck to the bottom. Cook for a minute or two, until well blended.

4.  Transfer the chicken to the plates, top with the tomatoes and pan sauce and sprinkle on the parsley If using. Serve immediately.

5.  I know this dish would double well if you want to serve more people and you could speed things up even more by preparing the butter mixture ahead of time and chilling it until ready to use. Just take it out about 30 minutes before you start cooking the chicken.

Enjoy!

Note:  Recipe adapted from an old Bon Appetit Magazine issue. I omitted the oregano and increased the amount of tomatoes used.

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