Gourmet (August 2008)
With the summer harvest now in full swing, we're receiving a bounty of vegetables each week from our CSA. Last summer, we nearly drowned in veggies like tomatoes and squash.
This year, though, we're better prepared, having saved recipes and learned a few tricks.
And now with this delicious and simple recipe from Gourmet, we've got one more trick up our sleeves.
This recipe from Gourmet caught our eye not only because it uses squash, but also because it can easily be made on a weeknight.
We had some chicken on hand that we purchased at the Dupont Circle Farmer's Market, from Smith Meadows Farms. After seasoning the chicken, you simply cook it in a skillet while weighting it down, similar to "chicken under a brick" recipes. For our weights, we used another skillet filled with canned vegetables.
Cooking the chicken this way keeps the meat moist and gives it a fantastically golden, perfectly crisped skin.
Once the chicken has been cooked on each side, saute the squash and tomatoes with herbs (we used thyme instead of marjoram).
This is the point at which we will alter the recipe the next time we make this. Our tomatoes, which were also from the farm, rendered a lot of juice, making our saute more of a marina sauce. It was still delicious, but not the consistency we were hoping for.
Next time, we'll cook the squash a bit before adding the tomatoes, hopefully keeping the sauce a little bit less liquid.
Regardless, the finished product was delicious: flavorful and moist chicken with the delicious taste of summer vegetables fresh from the garden.
Good grief we're going to miss summer!
Under the weight of a second skillet, the "pressed" chicken releases its fat and juices into the pan and ends up cooking in all that sumptuousness. The result is almost unbelievably moist meat. Adding the quick-cooked vegetables and the spicy perfume of marjoram completes what is sure to become a go-to recipe in your dinner arsenal.
Active time: 20 min Start to finish: 45 min
Servings: Makes 4 servings
subscribe to Gourmet
4 chicken breast halves with skin and bone (2 to 2 1/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 teaspoon chopped marjoram, divided
Pat chicken dry and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
Add chicken, skin side down. Cover with a round of parchment paper, then a heavy pot or skillet, followed by a 3- to 5-pound weight (such as two 32-ounce cans or a brick wrapped in foil). Cook 10 minutes, then remove weight, pot, and parchment.
Turn chicken over and re-cover with a clean round of parchment, pot, and weight, then cook until just cooked through, about 8 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a plate and keep warm, covered.
Add squash, tomatoes, garlic, 2 teaspoons marjoram, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to fat in skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until squash is just tender and tomatoes have become saucy, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in any juices from plate and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over chicken.
Sprinkle chicken and vegetables with remaining teaspoon marjoram.