Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chicken Breasts and Cherry Tomatoes

One of my new years resolutions for 2011 was for us to pick (at least) one recipe per month from the cookbooks we got for our wedding and try it out. Since January is ending soon, we tried out one of those recipes tonight. To be completely honest, my part in this was just helping with grocery shopping and reading from the book, and A did all the cooking. Our kitchen's a little on the small side so maybe we'll alternate months or something.

In this "cookbook project" blog series, we'll mention the recipe, the ingredients and how much they cost, and the finished product. The cost part of this is actually really interesting to me, since I notice that sometimes the cost of all the ingredients can be more than a meal at a restaurant and everyone always says cooking at home is cheaper.

January's recipe was Chicken Breasts and Cherry Tomatoes from the Williams-Sonoma "eat well" cookbook. The recipe is pretty simple and also healthy, so it was everything we were looking for today.

To make this recipe, you need:

- Boneless skinless chicken breast halves (the recipe calls for 4, we had one extra, but the package cost $7.39)
- Salt and pepper (we already had this, $0)
- Olive oil (we already had this, $0)
- Shallots (the recipe calls for 1/4 of a cup, we used extra, $0.45)
- Garlic (the recipe calls for 1 clove, we used 2, $0.42)
- Cherry tomatoes (they didn't have cherry tomatoes so we used grape tomatoes, $2.49)
- Balsamic vinegar (the bottle cost $5.99 but we didn't use that much)
- Fresh basil leaves (we used about half the package, which cost $2.49)

Adjusting for what we have left over and the fact that we got the balsamic vinegar for the long term, the total meal cost was approximately $11. That's not too bad at all. And considering that we had to go to Whole Foods to grocery shop in order to get decent produce, it would probably have been even cheaper if we went to Stop and Shop (but we don't have one close by).

The process is straighforward:

(Clockwise from top left) First, you pound the chicken, season it with salt and pepper, and heat it until browned and cooked through in the pan. The chicken then comes out of the pan to wait for the "toppings." Second, you cook the shallots and garlic until they've softened. Next, you add the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar until the tomatoes are softened and split. Last, you add the basil, salt and pepper. The whole mixture goes on top of the chicken. Easy, right?

Here's the chef with our yummy dinner:

So good, and our kitchen still smells good hours later!

And the finished product - doesn't it look delicious?

And a close-up:

This recipe was delicious and we would definitely make it again. The chicken was flavorful and the vegetable mixture was a great combination of textures and flavors. We highly recommend it for a healthy and tasty meal!

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