Undoubtedly, many gardeners who grow tomatoes have more than they can handle — unless they do some canning.
Even those who put up whole tomatoes, tomato juice, salsa or the like might have their hands full if they were overzealous and plotted too many plants, especially this summer in which there have been ideal growing conditions for those who have kept blight at bay.
So, with that in mind, here’s a recipe that will lessen the burden. It comes from The New York Times’s archives and is authored by the 60 Minute Gourmet himself, the late Pierre Franey.
I was a big fan of Franey’s column while serving as the food copy editor and later food editor at the Grand Forks Herald in the 1990s. Franey, along with the Times’ Craig Claiborne, served up some tasty dishes that eventually found their way to my dining room table. The recipes were easy, quick and inexpensive, all very important to me at the time.
The only improvisation I’ve made to the latest edition of this dish is to substitute pheasant breasts for chicken breasts.
Now, if I could find about a dozen more good tomato recipes. Readers?
Chicken With Tomatoes
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 2¼ pounds
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon or 2 teaspoon dried
8 ripe plum tomatoes cut into small cubes (or one 28-ounce can of tomatoes, drained and chopped)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup drained capers
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-bottom skillet. Add the chicken breasts and saute over medium-high heat, turning the pieces often until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the shallots and garlic around the chicken. Cook briefly; add the tarragon, tomatoes, vinegar, capers, wine and tomato paste. Stir to dissolve the brown particles adhering to the bottom of the skillet.
Blend well; bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 9 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.