Balsamic Heirloom Tomato Chicken

Let’s talk tomatoes.

I grew up in a family full of tomato-loving people.

My granddad used to have a pretty big garden growing in his back yard. He would grow squash, onions, okra, green beans, and yes – tomatoes. I used to love going out to the garden with him to look at everything he’d planted. I remember watching him pick a big, juicy tomato off the vine and eat it like an apple on more than one occasion. In those moments, I always wondered how I could possibly be related to him.

I was the weirdo in the family who hated tomatoes.

It is only recently that I’ve discovered a love for fresh, ripe (they HAVE to be ripe) tomatoes. I still haven’t arrived at “eat it like an apple” status, but I’m working on it. Besides the obvious health benefits associated with eating tomatoes, they add a wonderful sweet, acidic, freshness to dishes that just can’t be replaced.

At the moment, I am absolutely obsessed with heirloom cherry tomatoes. Each tomato looks different and has a bit of a different flavor. If you can find them, buy them! You won’t regret it.

Out of my love for these beautiful rainbow-colored tomatoes came this beautiful dish. Few things get my heart racing quite like the classic tomato, garlic, and basil combo. Except for my husband. (right answer, right?) So I figured I should definitely combine my favorite tomatoes with my favorite flavor combination.

There are lots of ways to mix this one up. If you don’t like balsamic vinegar, you can leave it out. You could easily top this dish with some fresh slices of mozzarella or fresh grated parmesan and pop it under the broiler for a few minutes for a melty, cheesy version. You could make it Mediterranean style with a little red wine vinegar instead of balsamic, oregano and dill instead of basil, and crumbled feta on top. The possibilities are endless. No matter how you make this dish, I feel 100% certain it will be a crowd pleaser. Bon appetit!

Balsamic Heirloom Tomato Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders (or boneless, skinless chicken breast – adjust cooking time accordingly)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved  (or regular cherry tomatoes)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup chiffonade of basil (it’s not as fancy as it sounds – to chiffonade, simply stack basil leaves, roll them up, and thinly slice them)

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper and add them to oil. Reduce heat to medium. Flip after 4-5 minutes of cooking.
  3. Add minced garlic to pan and cook with chicken for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Once chicken is done, add heirloom tomatoes to pan and cook until tomatoes just burst.
  5. Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add more salt and pepper, if necessary.
  6. Remove pan from heat and top with basil.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

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