Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Yellow Squash

A smoking-hot skillet does double duty, quickly cooking boneless chicken breasts, then a medley of fresh vegetables.

Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini, and Yellow Squash
SERVES 4 FAST
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a go-to choice for weeknight cooking. Adding some Mediterranean vegetables and flavorings created a great easy dinner for any day of the week. First off, the star ingredient needed to be cooked correctly. To sauté the chicken, one thing was key: The pan needed to be smoking hot. A thin, delicate item like a boneless, skinless chicken breast must be cooked through quickly. Cooking over low heat brings the juices to the surface, and once that happens, the chicken will never brown. To keep the meal to one pan, we sautéed cherry tomatoes and quick-cooking zucchini and summer squash in the same pan in which we cooked the chicken to create a flavorful medley of vegetables. Seasoning the chicken with herbes de Provence and finishing with basil gave our dish Mediterranean-fresh flavor.

½ cup all-purpose flour
4 (4- to 6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced ½ inch thick
2 yellow summer squash, quartered lengthwise and sliced ½ inch thick
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
¼ cup shredded fresh basil or mint

1. Spread flour in shallow dish. Pound thicker ends of chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to uniform ½-inch thickness. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, sprinkle with herbes de Provence, and season with salt and pepper. Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, dredge in flour to coat, shaking off any excess.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place chicken in skillet and cook,
turning as needed, until golden brown on both sides and chicken registers 160 degrees, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest while preparing vegetables.
3. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add zucchini and squash and cook until well browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and capers and cook until tomatoes are just softened, about 2 minutes. Off heat, stir in basil and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chicken with vegetables.

Pounding Chicken Breasts

To create chicken breasts of even thickness, simply pound the thicker ends of the breasts until they are all of uniform thickness. Though some breasts will still be larger, at least they will cook at the same rate.

 

Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts with Chickpea Salad
SERVES 4 FAST
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Hearty chickpeas are ideal as a salad component because they absorb flavors easily and provide texture and substance. We added the classic Mediterranean flavors of lemon, smoked paprika, cumin, and fresh mint to canned chickpeas for an easy accompaniment to quick-cooking pan-seared chicken breasts. Reserving a few tablespoons of the dressing for drizzling on the chicken before serving helped to reinforce the smoky, tangy flavors of the chickpea salad. Smoked sweet or smoked hot paprika can be used interchangeably in this recipe.

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed
½ red onion, sliced thin
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 (4- to 6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed

1. Whisk ¼ cup oil, lemon juice, honey, paprika, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper together in large bowl until combined. Reserve 3 tablespoons dressing for serving. Add chickpeas, onion, and mint to remaining dressing and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside for serving.
2. Spread flour in shallow dish. Pound thicker ends of chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to uniform ½-inch thickness. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, dredge in flour to coat, shaking off any excess.
3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place chicken in skillet and cook,
turning as needed, until golden brown on both sides and chicken registers 160 degrees, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Drizzle reserved dressing over chicken and serve with salad.

 

 

Meat & Poultry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *