Chicken breasts are elevated with a tomato herb pan sauce made with butter, oregano and cherry tomatoes.
In case you haven’t noticed, I really like tomatoes. I dread when summer ends and tomatoes are no longer in season. Luckily, there’s still some time left before that happens, and I plan on taking advantage of local, in-season tomatoes as long as I can. I have a few favorite recipes that use tomatoes, but I was beyond excited when I saw this one in July’s Bon Appétit. With cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs, it’s hard to go wrong.
This simple dinner looks incredibly stunning and tastes even better. The tomatoes, oregano and butter create a luscious pan sauce that is hard to resist. Eric and I enjoyed it so much that we even put some on top of the garlic rice pilaf we served with this. The chicken, even without the sauce, was incredibly flavorful, thanks to a technique we picked up from the insanely smart people at America’s Test Kitchen. Instead of just searing the chicken as the recipe called for, we coated it in a small amount of flour. Not only does the flour help create a wonderfully crisp crust, it also helps keep moisture inside, creating a chicken breast that’s nicely browned outside and perfectly juicy inside. I have reflected our changes below. If you’re looking for a way to dress up weeknight chicken, this is a great way to do so.
- YIELD: 2 servings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 garlic clove, minced
1½ teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes (11-12 ounces)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, oregano and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat oven to lowest possible temperature. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Measure the flour onto a plate. Working with one breast at a time, press both sides into the flour. Shake gently to remove excess flour and repeat with remaining breast.
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. Lay the chicken breasts in the skillet and sauté until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Flip and continue cooking 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a small pan or oven-safe plate and keep warm while preparing sauce.
Increase heat to high and add tomatoes to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to char and burst, about 5 minutes. Add remaining butter. 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.
Remove chicken from oven and stir in any juices that may have accumulated. Slice chicken and top with tomato sauce. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.