chicken with cherry tomato pan sauce

Several foodblogs that I follow posted this recipe a few weeks ago, and it looked so delicious that I decided I needed to make it myself. It’s a pretty simple dinner to prepare, especially if you have a handsome sous-chef around to help you chop all the fresh herbs that go into this. You saute butterflied chicken breasts in a flavored butter, then sear the tomatoes in the pan until they burst and char (yum), then add some fresh herbs and a few others things, and it’s ready to go.

The recipe I used also included a tasty-sounding polenta recipe with parmesan, basil, and fresh corn. I’d never made or eaten polenta before, and I’m not sure my first attempt was quite worth posting about. This is probably because the polenta I bought wasn’t the best kind. I made sure not to buy the bags labeled “instant,” which left me with just one choice; only when I got home I saw that the bag assured its buyers that while it was indeed not instant, it just so happened to cook in one minute anyway. Marcella Hazan, my trusted advisor on all things Italian, would not have approved. In any event, you can find the polenta recipe if you go to the original link; it sounds like it ought to be good if it were made properly! Otherwise you could serve this with rice, roasted potatoes, or even with pasta (if you doubled the sauce, perhaps). And though we sadly didn’t have any wine with this, I think you should. 

Chicken with Cherry Tomato Pan Sauce

The original recipe cooked the chicken breasts whole, but I like to butterfly them, because they cook faster and more evenly. You can buy butterflied chicken breasts (i.e. chicken cutlets), but they are a bit more expensive; it’s quite easy to do yourself. Here’s some instructions from Simply Recipes, if you haven’t tried this before. I’m not sure why the original recipe calls for dried oregano in the flavored butter and fresh in the sauce (I just hate ending up with lots of leftover fresh herbs that then go to waste!). For some reason I stuck with the recipe on this, but if you wanted to get more use out of your fresh oregano, you should use twice the amount called for in the butter.

Serves 4


2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (see note at top)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons flour
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied and cut in half (or 4 chicken cutlets)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups cherry tomatoes (about 1 pint)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped


Mix the butter with the garlic, dried oregano, and paprika. Place the flour on a plate or in a pie pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and dredge in the flour.

Heat the olive oil and one tablespoon of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and saute until it is lightly browned and cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side. You may need to work in batches, depending on how big your pan is. Remove to a platter, tent with foil, and keep warm in a low oven while you complete the sauce.

Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until they char and burst, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining butter and balsamic vinegar. Deglaze the pan, and crush the tomatoes with the back of the spoon or with a potato masher. Remove from heat and stir in the basil, parsley, and fresh oregano. Slice the chicken and mix any juices into the sauce. Spoon some of the sauce over each serving of chicken, and eat.

Adapted from Closet Cooking

One Comment on “chicken with cherry tomato pan sauce”

  1. […] If you want grilling instructions, check out the link to the original recipe at the bottom. This is another recipe where I prefer to butterfly the chicken breasts – this means that there is more surface area […]

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