CHICKEN AL FRESCO
• 2 ea. chicken breasts, skinless
• 2 oz. olive oil, extra virgin
• 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 sprigs thyme, fresh, leaves picked from stem
• 3 large leaves basil, fresh, chiffonade
• Salt, kosher
• 1/4 tsp. white pepper
• 1 ea. small zucchini, sliced
• 1 ea. small yellow squash, sliced
• 1/2 ea. green bell pepper, cut into strips
• 1 ea. small onion, cut into strips
• 6 ea. mushrooms, washed and sliced
• 4 ea. sun-dried tomato, reconstituted and sliced
• 1 c. spinach, washed and drained
• 10 ea. cherry tomatoes, roasted
• 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1. Marinate the chicken with 2 tbl. of the olive oil, 2 tsp. of the garlic and half of the thyme and basil. Lightly season with salt and white pepper. Cover and marinate overnight, refrigerated for a minimum of 1 hour.
2. Place the balsamic vinegar in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce by half. Cool and reserve. Bring up to a boil and remove from heat.
3. In a small bowl, place 1tbl. of the olive oil and ¼ tsp. of the minced garlic. Add the cherry tomatoes, season with some of the salt, white pepper, thyme and basil, then toss the cherry tomatoes to coat. Place on a pie tin or small baking sheet. Reserve the olive oil and seasoning in the bowl to use later. Roast in a 350-degree oven until skins begin to burst and tomatoes are soft (5-7 minutes). Remove from the oven and reserve warm.
4. Pour the olive oil and seasonings remaining from the bowl with the seasoned tomatoes into a sauté pan and place over medium high heat.
5. Sauté the chicken breast top side (presentation side) first until evenly cooked and halfway cooked through (approximately 2-3 minutes). Turn the chicken over and finish on the other side until cooked through (approximately 2-3 minutes more). Remove from sauté pan, cover and reserve warm to rest.
6. Leaving the pan as is, return the sauté pan to the flame and then add the remaining olive oil. Heat until hot, then sauté the vegetables starting with the bell pepper and onion, sauté a minute or so then add the zucchini, yellow squash and mushrooms. Cook for another 2 minutes or so, tossing as they cook. When the squash are crisp and tender, add in the sun-dried tomato and spinach.
7. Cook through, and then season to taste with salt and white pepper.
8. Place a portion of the sautéed vegetables onto the center of the plate. Top with the chicken breast. Arrange the roasted cherry tomatoes around the chicken and vegetables.
9. Drizzle some of the balsamic vinegar reduction over the chicken and around the plate.