My wonderful friend Kat started a new job in the city last month and she and her husband, Matt, joined us for dinner recently. Since they live in the suburbs, we don't see them as often as we'd like, and having them come by on a weeknight was an even more special treat. I thought about what to make for a woman who had worked a 10+ hour day after a long, early morning commute. I knew I wanted some big flavors with relatively easy execution. Start to finish, this dish is a breeze to put together, but it tastes and looks very fancy.
I baked 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 350° degrees having seasoned them simply with salt and pepper. You could also bread them and pan sear, or even grill them - I think the charred flavor would blend deliciously with the sauce. I also popped in a pan of broccoli cut into florets - I wanted something actually healthy to make it onto the plate.
The sauce was essentially a food processor creation and contained:
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, thinly chopped
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves (it was a big fistful, if you're not in the mood to measure)
1/2 cup light cream
1/4 cup chicken stock
Put the basil and sun-dried tomatoes into the food processor. I reserved a few pinches of the sliced tomatoes to garnish the final plate, but that's totally optional. I also added 1/4 cup of the light cream and the 1/4 cup of chicken stock. Pulse until all is well mixed - it became kind of a paste-like consistency, like a thick pesto or hummus. Then, I browned the garlic in some olive oil and added the sun-dried tomato basil paste to the pan to heat up. About a minute later, I added the remaining 1/4 cup of cream and whisked everything into a nice smooth sauce.
I dished up the four chicken breasts on a platter and topped them with some of the sauce and remaining chopped sun-dried tomatoes. I served the rest of the sauce in a small pitcher for those who wanted more on the plates. Everybody OOOHed and AAAHed when I brought it to the table, but those sounds were quickly replaced by the silence of chowing down.
This was 95% perfect - the sauce needed salt. So, we each added our desired amount of sodium at the table and hit that 100% mark! It was absolutely delicious. It took less than 30 minutes to make, was decadent and creamy, but still vibrant and flavorful with the sweet sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil. Keep this recipe in mind the next time you're in the market for a fast and easy but beautiful and delicious dinner!