I’ve been wanting to try this recipe all summer. Several of my favorite blogs had posted it over the past couple of months and everyone raved about it. We had it for dinner earlier this week, and I can finally say I see what all the hype was about. It’s great because I usually have most of the ingredients on hand, so I could see it being a “go to” meal when other dinner plans did not pan out for whatever reason (which happens fairly often around here). I also have an over abundance of fresh oregano and marjoram in my herb garden right now that I’m trying to use up before we get our first frost in a month or so.
The dish was a breeze to put together. I did make a few changes from the original recipe. Since Hurricane Irene pretty much did away with the vegetable garden, I had to buy cherry tomatoes…and, they just weren’t the best. They diddn’t release very much liquid when they burst open, so I added some vermouth to help compensate and deglaze the pan. It imparted a definite flavor into the pan sauce, which wasn’t a bad thing. However, I felt like it distracted from the flavor of the tomatoes a bit. I’m looking forward to trying this dish again soon with some better quality tomatoes. I would play it by ear, and if you feel like you need a little more liquid, add a splash of white wine.
Chicken Breasts with Tomato-Herb Pan Sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
3/4 teaspoon fresh marjoram, chopped
1/2 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 (12 ounces)
1/4 cup vermouth or white wine (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, oregano, marjoram, and paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Preheat oven to lowest possible temperature. Using a mallet or heavy skillet, pound chicken to 1/2-inch thickness in between two pieces of plastic wrap. 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. Add vermouth/wine to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the skillet to loosen the browned bits. Remove chicken from oven and add any juices that may have accumulated. Slice chicken and top with tomato sauce. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.