I didn’t get a lot of opportunities to buy farm fresh veggies this year, and I didn’t even attempt to grow my own. So, a couple of weeks ago, it was a bit of serendipity that one of my friends offered to bring me some of her fall bumper crop of cherry tomatoes, dropping them off cheerfully with a jar of pepper mustard. Thanks, Polly! I blistered them with some shallots and garlic, letting the juice of the tomatoes melt together into a sweet sauce. Add a splash of Balsamic vinegar, pour it over the chicken and you have a delicious weeknight dinner. I paired this with a store-bought tube of ready-made polenta, sliced, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and crisped up under the broiler and some quickly sautéed summer squash with red onion and garlic.
As luck would have it, another friend had a disappointing night in the kitchen and lost most of his entree. We live in a world mid-pandemic, so I couldn’t invite them over, so I packed up the still-warm leftovers and dropped them off at his house and two families were satisfied for the night. It got a thumbs up from everybody.
Chicken Cutlets with Blistered Balsamic Tomatoes
- 4 thin-sliced chicken breast pieces
- Kosher salt and ground white pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium shallots minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups grape tomatoes halved
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup basil leaves torn
- The chicken cutlets should already be thin, but if they’re not even, place them between two sheets of wax paper and pound them until they’re thin and even. Season well with salt and white pepper.
- Heat oil in a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then add the chicken. Cook, turning once until cooked through and brown on the outside. This is breast, so it’s important not to let it overcook or it will dry out. Transfer to a plate and lightly tent with aluminum foil to keep it war.
- Add garlic and shallots to the pan and cook, stirring frequently so they don’t brown too quickly. When they have softened, 3-4 minutes, add the tomatoes. Stir frequently until the tomatoes give up their juice and the skins start to split, then add the balsamic vinegar. Cook together until the sauce slightly thickens. Season the sauce with salt and white pepper. Reduce the heat and nestle the chicken into the sauce, gently warming until it’s heated. To serve, simply spoon the sauce over the chicken.