I promised a new recipe this week and I'm not going back on my word. Sorry about it being yet another chicken recipe, but that does tend to be the main protein in the Pickypants-(dis)Order household. As I see it, always needing to cook the same thing means I have to always keep my creative juices flowing.
I've been on quite the roasted cherry tomato kick lately. As mentioned in this blog and many other blogs, long slow cooking makes winter tomatoes bearable. Actually, I shouldn't be so unkind and say bearable. It makes them quite tasty. I keep finding ways to enjoy sticking them in recipes.
This tomato kick triggered a memory of a recipe I hadn't made in years. It was a recipe from The Frugal Gourmet called Chicken with Tomatoes, Shallots and Vermouth. I'm not sure why I took it out of the regular recipe circulation because it was a pretty tasty and easy recipe (as I remembered it anyway).
I realized I had no vermouth, but I did have a few other liquors that I enjoy using in recipes hanging out in the cabinet. One of them was sherry. I learned a few years ago that tomatoes are great cooked with sherry (although I must make the startling confession that I learned such a thing from a Rachael Ray recipe). I decided to adapts Old Jeff's recipe with sherry and maybe pep it up a bit.
In the end I decided not to pep it up too much. I had considered adding some pancetta (Shop Rite was out of smoked turkey tails. How dare they!) garlic and hot pepper. I decided against it for two reasons. The first is that I don't think recipes are always good loaded down with too many ingredients. Restraint can sometimes be the best ingredient of all. The second is that adding pancetta and hot pepper would make it taste too much like last week's pasta.
Start by browning your chicken well.
Shallots were mixed with a bit of garlic.
Add tomatoes and cook till soft and bursty.
Add sherry, some chicken stock and the chicken and simmer.
The dish was good, but subtle. It was almost like a twist on chicken cacciatore (another dish I feel needs no pile-on of ingredients). I think I would adjust the sherry/stock ratio a bit the next time. It probably didn't need quite so many tomatoes either. SPP seemed ambivalent, but I asked him if it was a keeper and he said yes.
Chicken with Tomatoes and Sherry
1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 Tbl olive oil
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
3 pints cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Heat oil in a large pan big enough to hold all chicken pieces. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and brown well on each side. Remove from pan and keep warm.
Drain off some of the excess fat (you won't need it) and add shallots to pan. Cook over low heat until soft. Add garlic and cook a minute or two until fragrant.
Add tomatoes and cook until the soften and start to burst. Pour in the sherry and stock and deglaze the pan well, scraping up all of the brown bits at the bottom. Add chicken back into pan and bring to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes or until cooked through, flipping chicken pieces over occasionally.