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Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Warm Tomato Salad

Oct 15, 2014 04:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
Rhea’s Rundown

When I first approach a recipe I look for red flag words like “minced” or “julienned” that tip me off what the more time-consuming aspects of the instructions are going to be. In this case, you’ll notice a couple “red flags” when you scroll down the ingredients list that are better taken care of before the cooking process begins. You don’t want to worry about mincing shallots while your cooked chicken sits out getting cold. Moral of the story: take care of the more tedious tasks before getting things hot and heavy on the stovetop. If you don’t it’s not the end of the world, the microwave is there to help when items have sat out too long.

Don’t let my introduction alarm you; this recipe couldn’t be more straightforward. It’s one of my all-time favorites because it is so easy and so yummy, yet still manages to be clean. What do I mean by clean? Simply put, it means avoiding processed foods, refined sugars, and an overall balanced diet. In this case, the only processed item is chicken, and even that can be minimal depending on your source. Cooking meals from scratch and eating smaller meals throughout the day are also characteristic of clean eating. What do I mean by easy? Aside from mincing garlic and shallots, little more is done beyond putting chicken and tomatoes in a pan. What do I mean by yummy? You’ll get the idea. (Spoiler alert: balsamic vinegar, tomato, and basil are regarded a classic combination for a reason—it’s delicious!)

Ingredients - Serves 4

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 large shallots, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups cherry and pear tomatoes, preferably a mix of colors and shapes, stemmed and halved
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn


1. Place the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap—I used paper towels—and lightly pound with a meat pounder to a thickness of about ½ inch. For help on meat pounders see “kitchen tools of the week” below. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.

2. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, turning once, until browned, 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer each piece to a plate as it is finished and cover with tented aluminum foil.

3. Add the shallots and garlic to the frying pan and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and vinegar and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes begin to soften and split, about 4 minutes. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper.

4. Place a chicken breast on individual plates and spoon the warm tomato salad on top.

Adapted from: Jacobi, Dana. “Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Warm Tomato Salad.” Good for You: Easy, Healthy Recipes for Every Day.” Weldon Owen, Inc. and Williams-Sonoma, Inc. California: San Francisco, 2013: Print.