I think I should apologize. I’ve been terribly selfish. You see, I have now made this recipe twice and have yet to share it with you. And it is a strong contender for my favorite new summer recipe.
Take some of my kitchen’s usual suspects- tomatoes, basil, shallots, and chicken. Throw into the mix some strangers- Worcestershire sauce, herbes de Provence (which I can hear in my head with a French accent but please don’t ask me to say it out loud), and tarragon. The end result? How can I explain this…?
Have you ever found yourself in a completely new situation with someone you know very well, and suddenly experience a different side of that person? (Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes it’s not…) That’s what this recipe reminded me of. It’s like if you mix Mom + martini, and the outcome is a Mom that is oddly familiar, yet oddly unfamiliar. (Not my mom, of course.) Just when I thought I’d pushed the tomatoes and basil thing to the limit, they surprise me with a dimension I never knew they had.
Oh, also- even if you choose not to make this whole recipe (I don’t know why you wouldn’t, though), I highly urge you to try preparing chicken breasts this way. Somehow it creates a crispy skin on boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are incredibly juicy and moist. I officially declared that I am never going to cook chicken breasts a different way. Ever again.
This is almost exactly the recipe for Chicken with Herb-Roasted Tomatoes and Pan Sauce from the August 2012 issue of Bon Appetit, so I’m not going to repeat the recipe here. But I will tell you about few modifications I made. First, while you could probably get this on the table much faster by simultaneously cooking the tomatoes and chicken in separate overproof skillets, I really didn’t want to contend with two cast-iron skillets- either while cooking or while cleaning up. So I cooked the tomatoes first and then let them hang out in a bowl while I cooked the chicken.
Second alteration… the original recipe calls for parsley, but I used basil instead. We’re just more of basil people, I suppose. And finally, I might have swirled one or two tablespoons of butter into the pan sauce at the very end. It would be delicious without butter, but I’m pretty sure the butter isn’t going to take away from the recipe. And since my tomatoes didn’t seem to yield quite as much juice as Bon Appetit’s picture would suggest, I felt like I needed something to make it a little saucier.