Here’s an easy, saucy meal with slow-cooked deep flavor. It’ll be hard to believe that Chicken with Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce is actually a 30 minute meal. The chicken is perfectly tender and juicy, and the easy cream sauce is over-the-top in complex Italian flavor thanks to quick-caramelized tomatoes and fresh basil.
The generous cream sauce is silky and complex thanks to the addition of lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. And let’s talk about those tomatoes for a minute. Fresh tomatoes are just right after they caramelize, bringing out their natural sweetness. Add fresh minced garlic and you have the perfect sun-dried tomato taste with a better texture than the bottled or dried version.
As I mentioned, this dish is ready and perfect in 30 minutes, and if you need it on the table right after the sauce is added, it’ll look like this and still taste Amazing!:
But if you need more time to make a salad or additional side dishes? Well, just cover the skillet and place it back in the 250 degree oven for 20 to 40 minutes more and look what happens. Everything melds together for even more beautiful color and flavor. Either way is over-the-top, trust me. If you do cook the dish further in the oven, the tomato infused olive oil and the cream will separate a bit. No worries, just give a quick stir. Sprinkle with more basil and some toasted pine nuts, if desired.
If you’re looking for a tasty, meatless dish, just substitute 24 ounces of freshly sliced mushrooms and prepare them in the skillet instead of the chicken. Whole milk can be substituted for the whipping cream and the butter can be left out of the sauce. You really can’t mess this up. Delicious over noodles or rice. Serve with a nice green salad or even on top of a bed of spinach.
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup white wine
- Juice from one lemon
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- ¾ teaspoons sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 or 4 chicken breasts, pounded thin for even cooking
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (for dredging the chicken, use cornstarch for gluten-free)
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tomatoes, sliced to ¼" thickness
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tablespoons fresh basil, more if desired
- More Parmesan cheese, to taste
- Optional: Add some toasted pine nuts at serving
- Heat oven to 250F degrees.
- In a medium sauce pan, heat chicken broth and white wine over medium-high heat. Boil until reduced by one third, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, add lemon juice and whipping cream. Heat to a slow simmer and then add butter, one tablespoon at a time. Lower heat a bit and continue on a very low simmer, whisking occasionally while you make the chicken and tomatoes.
- After chicken has been pounded to an even thickness, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12" skillet on medium-high heat. Lightly dredge chicken in the flour mixture, shaking extra flour off before placing chicken in pan. Heat chicken over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side. Place chicken on an oven-safe plate, cover with foil and place in oven to keep warm.
- In the same pan you cooked the chicken (do not wash out the pan), add the last tablespoon of oil and lower heat to medium. Add the tomatoes in a single layer, adding salt and pepper as desired. Let cook until tomatoes start to disintegrate and caramelize, about 4 minutes.
- Stir tomatoes and add garlic cloves. Continue to cook, stirring only occasionally. The tomato mixture will stick to the pan a little. This is what you want, because it means they're breaking down correctly and the tomatoes natural fructose is working. Turn heat to low while you finish preparing chicken and sauce.
- Remove chicken from oven and slice on diagonal, about 1" thick slices. Add chicken to the skillet and lightly toss with tomatoes.
- Add ½ cup Parmesan cheese to your cream sauce now and stir until melted. Add ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken and lightly stir all ingredients together.
- Sprinkle with fresh basil and more Parmesan cheese. The meal is ready to serve now, or it can be covered and returned to the 250 degree oven for up to 40 minutes while you prepare side dishes, etc. When you remove from the oven, the sauce needs a quick stir to incorporate back together. (In the recipe photo, you can see that the yummy tomato infused olive oil and cream have separated a bit.)
- Leftovers are even better the following day.