During my middle school and high school years my mom had a genius plan. Each sibling (there were three of us) would be responsible for cooking dinner one night of the week. Besides helping my family have a home-cooked meal those nights, the best thing about it was that we learned how to cook.We would ask my mother questions, look up recipes, and feel proud of our finished product. Learning to cook was a tool and a gift that I have carried with me ever since.
This Garlic Chicken in Cherry Tomato Sauce was one of my go-to meals back then. I found the recipe in a health magazine and have since tweaked it to perfection. I think I like this recipe so much because it reminds me of my sister. She loved this meal! Since it is naturally Paleo and incredibly light and healthy, I thought it would be perfect to share here.
The cherry tomatoes and red onions are important here. I tried making this recipe with regular tomatoes and it didn’t taste as good. I tried making it with yellow onions and, again, it didn’t taste as good. I tried making this recipe with more variations than I can count and the moral of the story is that the cherry tomatoes and red onions are key.
If you allow the chicken to brown, to get really golden crispy brown on the bottoms, the sauce turns a reddish brown and has the most wonderful flavor. If you don’t want that or if you are running low on time, you can just lightly brown them and the sauce will remain red, as seen in these photos.
I’m not going to lie, this is great with pasta. I used to make this sauce with pasta all the time and if you can or want to eat it with pasta, go ahead! There is some great quinoa pasta out there. It has corn in it, so it isn’t Paleo, but it still must be better than other pastas out there.
This is also great with parmesan cheese… again, it’s up to you whether you want to add this. It still tastes great without parmesan and pasta because the sauce is the best part! If you are trying to follow a Paleo diet, I suggest eating this with zucchini, eggplant, spaghetti squash, cauliflower, or asparagus. I bet it would even be good with sweet potatoes. As long as this sauce is on it, it’s bound to be good.
- 2 tbs olive oil
- ¾ cup diced red onion (make sure it's a red onion!)
- 1 tbs chopped garlic- about 4 cloves
- 2 lb chicken cutlets (seasoned with 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper, and a dash of red pepper flakes)
- 1.5 lbs cherry tomatoes (3.5 cups)
- 1.5 tsp crushed basil
- ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and then add the garlic and onion. Cook for 5 minutes, mixing every now and again with a spatula.
- Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until brown. With thin chicken, it takes 3-4 minutes, but with thicker chicken breasts, it can take 6-8 minutes a side, or more. I had to cook them for 7 minutes on medium and the I flipped them and cooked them for another 7 on med-high.
- Chop the cherry tomatoes in a food processor and put them in the pan with the chicken and mix everything together.
- Add the basil, salt, and pepper.
- Heat to boiling and then let simmer for 25 minutes.