1 protein – 2 vegetables – 1 fat
When you become so accustomed to using canned tomato products and must suddenly start using fresh tomatoes, it is challenging to capture that rich tomato flavor. I have learned ways to do this, which may have to do with the type of tomato I choose, the cooking method, or the ingredients I add to my tomatoes. This week’s recipe is a fast and easy dinner for any time of the year that has an amazingly rich tomato sauce.
It was inspired by a recipe that I blogged in November 2011: Spicy Tilapia with Tomatoes. It was a one-pan dish with a delicious fresh tomato and garlic “sauce,” though I did not let the tomatoes break down enough to become saucy. I decided to try the same technique with chicken, but to roast the tomatoes a little longer so that they would break down more to create a rich sauce for the chicken. It was a success!
You will need two oven-safe sauté pans – this means metal handles. The ingredients are quite simple, as is the overall preparation, which will take you less than 30 minutes. The key to this recipe is heat, heat, heat. Don’t be afraid to crank your burners to their highest setting. Don’t be afraid to get your oven smoking hot. High heat is a great way to cook lean protein without drying them out or losing flavor. By combining all those great roasted flavors into one dish, you are creating a sauce that is naturally flavorful and very healthful. And as always, feel free to play around with the herbs you use. This would be just as good with dried oregano and fresh basil, or even a touch of chili powder and fresh cilantro. The technique is what’s important.
I hope you enjoy this quick and delicious dinner – and be sure to share your variations.
- 1 1/2 C. cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp. herbes de Provence
- 1/2 tsp. Morton® Lite Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 6-oz. chicken breasts
- 5 green onions, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Italian parsley, minced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, minced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place tomatoes in a mixing bowl and drizzle with one teaspoon olive oil. Add herbes de Provence, salt, pepper, and toss to coat.
Heat an oven-proof skillet over high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add remaining teaspoon of oil and then tomatoes. Toss tomatoes a few times and then place entire skillet into hot oven (set bowl aside and do not wash). Roast until tomato skins burst and are browned in places, about 15 minutes.
Place chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound gently with a rolling pin until even thickness. Place chicken breasts in bowl used to dress tomatoes and coat in any remaining oil and seasonings left in bowl.
Heat a second oven-proof skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Spray skillet with cooking spray and add chicken. Sear for 3-4 minutes or until well browned. Turn and cook for an additional two minutes, then place entire skillet into oven with tomatoes. Cook just until chicken is cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.
Take tomatoes and chicken out of the oven. Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate. Place chicken skillet over a burner set to high. Add green onions and cook for one minute. Add cider vinegar and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium.
Add herbs to tomato mixture, stir, and then add tomato mixture to green onion mixture. Stir. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to tomato mixture, simmer for 2 minutes.
Serve chicken with tomato pan sauce on top.
Makes 2 servings