This recipe combines two of my favorite foods, chicken and tomato soup (don’t worry, it won’t call for that red and white can). Those flavors are especially welcome on a night like this, stormy and cold. We took the dogs for a walk on the beach just before the rain hit, the first drops fell as we were driving away from the parking lot.
Don’t you think a winter beach is special? It was empty of summer visitors, only the hardiest souls were out in the late afternoon. We only met two other couples, both with dogs chasing balls or sticks. out. Our dogs were in heaven, excited by the wind, leaping into the air to catch the frisbee.
The beach was full of driftwood washed up by the waves onto the high tide line. I didn’t get a picture, unfortunately. The salvage groups have been out cutting up the logs.
I cooked this sous-vide, inspired by a post from Bewitching Kitchen for Chicken Korma-ish. But the dish could also be cooked in a skillet with the sauce. I will give instructions for both. Sous-vide means “under vacuum” and is a method of cooking in a water bath at a very carefully controlled temperature. Your food is encased in a food safe plastic bag, either under vacuum or the air having removed by displacement. Your food cannot overcook. It takes longer but the results are amazing. In this case, silky and moist chicken breasts.
I served this with both spiralized zucchini and pasta. Take your pick, it was delicious both ways.
Ingredients for 4 servings
- 3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 4 tomatoes, sliced. I didn’t bother to skin them as I was going to puree them in the food processor.
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2/3 cup heavy cream, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- thinly sliced basil or parsley, about 1/4 cup
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- toasted pine nuts for serving
- garnish of chopped basil
- pasta of any shape or spiralized vegetable
If making this in the summer with wonderful vine ripened tomatoes, you may not need to add the tomato paste. Since these were February tomatoes, green house grown, they could use a little help.
- If using sous-vide, heat your water bath to 150 degrees F.
- Melt butter or heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat
- Add the shallot and saute until starting to soften.
- Add the garlic, do not let either the shallot or garlic brown. Saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add the sliced tomatoes, cook until softened and starting to melt into the pan.
- Add the tomato paste and salt, stir to mix.
- Put the contents of the skillet into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
- Add 1/3 cup of the cream and process again.
- For sous-vide:
- Add the diced chicken to a food safe plastic bag.
- Add the second 1/3 cup cream to the bag and mix.
- Add the contents of your blender or food processor and mix.
- Immerse the bag in the water and squeeze out the air.
- Cook for 2 hours, 3 is ok if you need to leave it longer.
- For traditional:
- Return the contents of the processor or blender to the skillet, add the second 1/3 cup cream and mix.
- Pour the sauce back into the skillet and heat on medium until just under the boil.
- Add the chicken and turn the heat to low.
- Cook until the chicken is done, about 10-15 minutes. Test a piece to make sure it is cooked all the way through.
There is a trick to using spiralized zucchini. Zucchini is mostly water. salting before using will help it retain the crispness. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of kosher salt and drain in a colander. Then dry on paper towels or a tea cloth before using. You will be amazed at the liquid that is released (and doesn’t water down your sauce). You can then add the zucchini to the hot sauce in the skillet to heat.
The chicken was fantastic!