Seared Chicken and Vegetable Ragoût

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 6 oz English peas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ lb new potatoes
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 6 oz cherry tomatoes

Heat a small saucepan of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the potatoes. Peel the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, gently smash each clove to flatten. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Shell the peas. Halve the tomatoes and place in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Add the potatoes and garlic to the saucepan of boiling water. Cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly and set aside in a warm place.

While the potatoes and garlic cook, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate. Loosely cover the cooked chicken with aluminum foil and set aside in a warm place.

Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan of reserved fond; heat on medium-high until hot. Add the shallot; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and fragrant. Add the peas; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the vinegar and ¼ cup of water (be careful, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume and the peas have softened. Turn off the heat.

To the pan, add the cooked potatoes and garlic, seasoned tomatoes, butter, and half the basil (tearing the leaves just before adding). Stir until thoroughly combined and the butter has melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the finished ragoût between 2 dishes. Top with the cooked chicken and a drizzle of olive oil. Garnish the ragoût with the remaining basil (tearing the leaves just before adding). Enjoy!

Seared Chicken and Vegetable Ragoût