We adore the taste of sun-dried tomatoes. So many elements make it crave-able… the natural caramely sweetness, the crisp-yet-chewy texture, and the vibrant burst of flavor and sunshine it adds to any meal. Their first form, ripened and fresh off the vine, is good on its own. But let it bake in the sun (or more practically, an oven) and condense alllll of its flavors slowly and steadily, you’ve got one delicious nugget of goodness.
Although what you see here is a chicken dish, I consider the sun-dried tomatoes to be the anchor ingredient. That’s how we decided to make it, after all. The boy recently asked if we had these little gems on hand, and requested them in some form of meal. So here we are.
I cooked simple chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper in butter on the stove top, then removed those and added the base of our saucy goodness: onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes with oil. Let all of that simmer down until tender, then I added chicken stock and wee bit of heavy cream. Back in went the chicken breasts, and everything cooked slowly until reduced and perfect.
Truth be told, you could serve this dish sans quinoa. As you can see from the pictures, it makes a great skillet-full of chicken and sauce, ready to be dished over or next to whatever you want – potatoes, rice, some healthy vibrant green veggie (to each his own…). But I was craving the wholesome and earthy flavor of quinoa, so I placed the chicken breasts on top of a bed of it and ladled the sauce and all of its bits of tomato on top. To make matters more delectable, add a heaping of crumbled feta and julienned basil. Game changer.
The final meal is a mediterranean-style feast, filled with sharp, sweet, fresh flavors. It makes for a wonderful and fairly healthy work lunch, easily heated up in the microwave. Or just make it as a super shmancy dinner, with sides of finely-roasted green vegetables and heaping glasses of red wine. Either way, I still crave it.
Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken and Quinoa
- 4 chicken breasts raw
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped (reserve the oil post-chopping)
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup quinoa cooked according to instructions
- About 6 leaves of fresh basil julienned (cut into thin strips)
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cook for about 4 or 5 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- Lower the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic to the same skillet and cook in the leftover juices until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and continue cooking for about another 3 minutes.
- Add the stock and heavy cream. Stir the mixture and raise the heat to high to bring it to a boil. Bring it back down to a simmer and stir in half of the freshly chopped basil leaves. Nestle the chicken breasts in the mixture. Cover and continue to simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes.
- Serve your prepared quinoa on a serving plate, spread evenly. Once the chicken mixture is done, add the breasts individually, then spoon the remaining sauce over the top, making sure to include plenty of pieces of tomato. (You will likely have sauce leftover. Just reserve this for leftovers or as a supplemental side if anyone wants more.) Sprinkle with the remaining basil and the feta.