Breast of Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Basil and Vermouth
Light, clean and healthy, this is the perfect chicken dish for Summer. If you don't have vermouth which has an almost herby quality, use white wine. Serve this quick and easy to prepare chicken with a colourful salad.
4 chicken breasts
1 dsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
8 tbsps. approx. dry vermouth
1 tbsp. double cream
8 (approx.) cherry tomatoes
Small handful fresh basil
Salt and Pepper
Heat a small drop of olive oil in a frying pan with a lid (I use a non stick wok with a lid because I'm a bit of a clumsy worker)
Add the chicken breasts to the pan top side down and cook gently for barely two minutes - too much colour toughens the outside of the breasts - then turn them over, clamp on the lid and turn the heat down. Continue to cook gently with the lid on for a further 10 minutes or so, cooking time will vary according to the size of the breasts. Resist the temptation to lift the lid and poke about because you want to keep the steam inside the pan to help the moist cooking process.
Slip the chicken breasts with their juices into a bowl and cover it with cling film to trap the steam inside.
Add a drop more of the oil to the chicken pan and sweat the onion with a pinch of salt until translucent.
Add the generous glug of vermouth to the pan and bubble for a couple of minutes to cook off the alcohol.
Add the double cream and bubble again
Thickly slice the chicken and slip it into the sauce with the delicious juices which will have accumulated in the bowl.
Add the tomatoes
Just before serving, roughly chop or tear the basil leaves, stir most of it into the sauce and sprinkle the remainder over the top
Take care when cooking chicken breasts, better to have them pale, succulent and soft than browned but dry. Even on a low heat, the breasts will cook in a covered pan really quite quickly.
The juices which accumulate in the bowl around the chicken are precious and flavourful and they will turn to jelly as they cool. Save any left over for another occasion.
I prefer to peel the tomatoes, but of course this isn't necessary.
The taste of the basil will quickly disappear if you add it too early.
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