We finally found our local Farmer Market, and while it's nothing compared to the marketplace in Columbia, it's wonderful to have fresh, local produce available once more. In honor of finding it, I enjoyed my finds (thanks, Heather!) in our dinner tonight. Chicken and Salad was all we had, but it was simply divine, well-seasoned, and just what we wanted on a sweltering summer day. This fed our family of five with room left for a little chocolate popcorn dessert.
Seared Chicken with Market Tomato Salad
3 medium chicken breasts
1 Tbsp Thyme (I used dry because it's what I had)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 Tbsp oil [I used 1/2 safflower and 1/2 sesame for a rich, dark flavor]
Assorted fresh tomatoes [I used 2 orange and a generous handful of red grape tomatoes]
5-6 leaves fresh basil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Combine the thyme, 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp pepper, and garlic in a small bowl and mix well. Rinse chicken and dry completely, then cut each breast into 2 pieces, pounding halves, if necessary, to about 1/2 inch thick. While oil is heating in a large skillet over medium-high heat, rub herb mixture into chicken, coating both sides. When oil is hot, place chicken in pan, and cook until done, about 2-3 minutes each side (longer for thicker meat, which is why I pound it flat.) The oil should create a golden crust on the chicken.
Cut large tomatoes into a chunky dice and halve grape size tomatoes. Chop basil and combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve alongside chicken and perhaps a fresh crusty bread if you feel the need for a little carb action.