Each morning I rise with the first golden threads of sunlight. While my guys are busy packing up lunches and heading out the door, my job is to water our garden. Flowers are forming on nearly every plant – soon we’ll have tomatoes growing. Tomatoes fresh from the garden are the best, don’t you think? As I watch my garden grow, my thoughts drift to all sorts of yummy dishes using things I have grown myself. (Now if only I can convince Hubby to let me have a few chickens . . .)
How do I begin to describe this wonderful chicken dish? It’s light, colorful and loaded with flavor. The pan-seared tomatoes pop in your mouth, bursting with that sweet, tangy, savory sensation that only fresh tomatoes can. This is one of my favorite summer meals simply because it is so light yet so satisfying. Served up with a salad of tender mixed greens and cherry tomatoes along side a basket of warm bread, who could ask for more?
This is one of those wonderful dishes that you can serve when entertaining (depending upon number of guests and appetites, you can always increase the ingredients to suit your needs). The breasts do well when held in a warm oven, giving time to do a quick clean-up of the kitchen before your guests arrive. Just place the breasts on a platter, spoon sauce over them and wrap tightly in foil to prevent the breasts from drying out and place in a warm (not hot) oven.
I hope your family comes to love this simple yet elegant Italian favorite as much as mine does.
Chicken Breast with Tomato-Herb Pan Sauce
3 Large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (or 6 thin breasts)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 garlic clove, pressed
3 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
Kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
White wine, to taste
Warm oven to about 300 degrees.
If using the large breasts, split each chicken breast lengthwise as you would to butterfly, creating two thinner breasts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Mash butter, garlic, marjoram, and paprika in a small bowl to blend. Season marjoram butter to taste with salt and pepper. (Optional – I skipped the additional salt since the breast were already salted).
Melt 1 tablespoons marjoram butter in a medium heavy skillet over medium heat. Add chicken to skillet, cover, and cook until no longer pink in center, about 8-10 minutes per side, depending upon thickness. Transfer chicken to a plate. Tent chicken with foil and place in a warm oven to keep warm.
Pour some white wine into the skillet to deglaze the pan. Scrape the pan with a wooden spoon and give it a few swirls.
Increase heat to high. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to char and burst, about 5 minutes.
Add remaining marjoram butter to skillet. Crush tomatoes slightly to release juices; leaving some whole for the “pop” in your mouth experience. Stir 1 minute. Spoon tomato sauce over chicken. Garnish with parsley.