Summer Chicken

I’m back from a much needed vacation…the laundry is conquered…and I’m ready to get back into my groove!  I am ready for some home-cooking, I get tired of eating out quickly…and 11 days nearly did me in, I make poor choices when eating out.  I wanted something fresh and delicious…that utilized some of my home-grown goodies.  I have all but lost my tomatoes, they grew so big that the cages buckled…and a storm took them out.  Now my big heirloom beefsteak plant is literally lying over on its side (Darling Husband helped me untangle it from the cage).  We shall see if it continues to produce.  My cherry tomato is barely upright, but still producing TONS.  I found this recipe via Pinterest by Goddess of Scrumptiousness…love that name!  I used her recipe as the framework for mine.

I’m calling this Lemon Herbed Chicken in Creamy Cherry Tomato Sauce…DH would never eat something called Garlic Gravy, he’s weird like that.  First up…marinate the chicken.  Start with the fresh herbs, I used rosemary and lemon thyme.

 I chopped these pretty finely.  Then add the zest of one lemon…

Next, the juice…

To complete the marinade add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and salt & pepper.

I was making this dish for myself and my guinea pig friend Sandy, so I used the zest and juice of a whole lemon and let it marinate for several hours (3-4)…when I make this for DH, I will probably only use the zest of ½ a lemon and marinate for less than an hour…he says heavy lemon reminds him of dish soap…I happen to love lemon…ahhhh, compromises ;).   

I used chicken tenderloins, and cut them into 1 inch chunks…great time-saver, plus my grocery had them on a super sale & I stocked up.  Toss them around in the marinade, then off to the fridge.

When you are ready, cook the chicken over medium-high heat with some olive oil.  This will only take a few minutes on each side.  The higher temp will produce this lovely color…

And, Yes!  This chicken is divine on its own…would be fabulous on a salad!  Now let’s move on to the sauce…I love a good sauce!  I used the same pan…added a few tablespoons of butter & a few of olive oil, plus some minced garlic (whatever your taste preference is, I probably used 3-4 cloves worth…I buy it already minced).  Once the garlic becomes golden add in a couple of tablespoons of flour (AP or whole wheat, whatever you usually use…today was AP for me).  Give the flour enough time to cook, 3-5 minutes…I stir it nearly constantly.

We are almost there!  Add in some chicken stock (I only had canned broth today, I used 1 can)

And some dry white wine…great excuse to have a glass ;)…

When the liquids are well incorporated, and the sauce starts to thicken…add in some chopped fresh basil (a handfull of leaves will do…1-2 tablespoons) and your cherry tomatoes.  I used about 1½ cups (that is what I had ripe at the moment), you could certainly use more if you have them.

 When the tomatoes begin to pop, toss in some grated parmesean cheese…a half a cup will do…more if you want.

Now it is time for the chicken to go back into the sauce…along with some fresh parsley.  I love the colors of this dish!

I decided to give brown rice pasta a try, if you are on a gluten free diet and want to try this dish…you can sub rice flour for the regular flour.  The rice pasta was good, but I think it would be better in a cold asian pasta salad…next time I will use my usual whole wheat pasta for this.  Add the pasta to the sauce…

Give it a good toss to coat the pasta…and you are ready to serve! 

Isn’t that pretty???  This is a dish that is perfect for summer…or when the gloomy days of winter get you down, this will perk you up. 

Today’s secret revealed…I had some trouble in the past zesting citrus fruits, something just wasn’t making the process as easy as it looks on all of the cooking shows I watch.  I finally realized that the skin of the fruit needs to be really dry…so I wash mine and let it sit out for a while to cut down on the condensation (I usually keep citrus in the fridge).

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