I had way too many tomatoes. Between a couple farmers' markets and a friend's CSA, I had three overflowing bowls. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but I just wanted to use them before they went bad. For help, I consulted Bon Appetit's massive Fast, Easy, Fresh. This recipe certainly uses tomatoes, but what I really love is the saffron, though just a strand or two, incorporated into the vinaigrette. It seemed like the perfect match for chicken.
The only part about the recipe that bothered me was the chicken cooking instruction. It calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked gently, sliced thinly, and laid delicately on the greens. Wanting something a little more aggressive, I flattened a couple boneless, skin-on chicken breasts and sautéed them until the skin turned a golden brown. The whole skinny breast went on the arugula, slightly wilting the leaves. Refreshed by the tomatoes and saffron vinaigrette, this is the perfect late summer meal.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/16 teaspoon saffron
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup shallots, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts
- 1 bunch arugula
- Salt and pepper
Combine the vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of the paprika, and the saffron in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the shallots, 1/2 tablespoon of the thyme, and the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
Flatten the chicken breasts with a mallet or the bottom of a large skillet. Season both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper and the rest of the paprika and thyme.
Pour the rest of the oil into a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts, skin-side down. Cook for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side. Check for done-ness using a meat thermometer. Cook for an additional two minutes a side if necessary.
Add a handful of arugula to two plates. Top each with a chicken breast. Spoon on some of the tomato-saffron vinaigrette.