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Seared Chicken Breasts with Cherry Tomato Pan Sauce and Goat Cheese

January 6, 2012

This is an excellent skillet chicken dinner, one that’s rich and filling, but not overly heavy.

chicken with tomatoes and goat cheese

I changed it up a bit and stirred goat cheese into the tomato sauce, so it melted and had a tangy, creamy consistency.  You could serve this with simple sauteed zucchini and pasta, or as I served it with a zucchini rice gratin.  It’s nice enough for entertaining and quick enough for a weeknight.  This recipe was adapted from Big Girls, Small Kitchen and serves 4-6.


2 T  unsalted butter

6 chicken cutlets

Sea salt


1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1 1/2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

1 t sugar

1/4 c chicken stock

2 T fresh basil, slivered

4 oz goat cheese, crumbled (or 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella)


In a large cast iron skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season them generously on both sides with salt and paprika. Add the chicken to the pan and cook, lowering the heat to medium if your pan starts to smoke, until nicely browned on both sides and just pink in the middle, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove to a plate and tent with foil.

Add the remaining butter to the pan, along with the garlic and tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes are beginning to fall apart, stirring occasionally and scraping up any brown bits of chicken from the bottom, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and sugar and using the back of your spoon, gently crush the tomatoes so they give up all their juices. Simmer the sauce for another 3 minutes until it’s thickened and the acidity has mellowed.  Stir in the basil and taste for seasoning, adding more salt as necessary. Add the chicken back to the pan and simmer until it’s cooked through. Dot the top with the goat cheese and stir to incorporate.  Remove from the heat, garnish with basil or Parmesan, and serve immediately, family style.

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