After my recent dalliance with healthy eating, I’m back with a heavy cream sauce. I know sundried tomatoes are considered a bit retro, and not in a cool way, but I recently picked up a packet at a bargain price and was planning to throw them into a salad. Then I remembered this dish that a local restaurant used to do and I had to give it a go. They probably had a much fancier name for it but this is my Chicken with Creamy Sundried Tomato Sauce.
I have made this a few times now and it is always very well received. Dangerously so! The local place used to serve them with mashed potatoes but that’s a bit too much, even for me. I have served it with crispy roast potatoes and stirred through penne or tagliatelle pasta. Both are equally delicious but for convenience sake, the pasta makes a much faster midweek meal. Just make sure to serve with a fresh green salad to cut through the richness.
Useful tips & links:
- When I make this dish I normally slice the chicken in half horizontally so that it cooks faster without drying out, I left them whole just for these pictures.
- I have seen recipes for a similar dish online called Tuscan Chicken. I’m not sure how authentically Italian it is, if at all, but most of them use spinach as the green in the sauce. I prefer to use basil for the delicious flavour and keep the spinach for the salad on the side.
- While I like to add the tomatoes early in the cooking as they melt a bit into the sauce, if you prefer you can keep them whole and add them near the end.
- I have not specified measurements for the parmesan and lemon as it really depends on your own taste. If your stock is salty you will need to use less parmesan. I usually just add a small amount of it and the lemon but add it gradually and taste as you go until you are happy.
- You can substitute the cream with creme fraiche but be careful that your sauce does not split, heat it very gently.
- If you fancy a lighter dish have a look at Manuela’s Sundried Tomato and Seaweed Chicken or if you like the idea of making your own Nessa has a recipe here for Homemade Sundried Tomatoes.
Chicken with Creamy Sundried Tomato Sauce
- 4 x skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon of oil from sundried tomatoes
- 1 shallot or ½ a small onion, very finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 75g of sundried tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons of tomato puree
- 300ml of hot chicken stock
- 300ml of double cream
- 2 teaspoons of mushroom ketchup (optional)
- A small bunch of basil leaves
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Heat the tablespoon of oil from the jar of sundried tomatoes in a large shallow pan over a medium heat. Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper and brown it all over in the pan to seal the meat.
- Remove the chicken and set it aside. Reduce the heat under the pan to low-medium and add a small knob of butter and the diced shallots to the pan. Gently sweat the shallots for about five minutes until they are soft and translucent but don’t allow them to take on any colour. If you are using regular onions they will take longer to cook.
- While the onion is cooking drain the tomatoes if they are in oil and finely slice them. You want them to be thin so that they melt a bit into the sauce.
- When the onions are cooked, crush and add the garlic, tomato puree and chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook for another minute.
- Add the hot stock and cream to the pan and bring the liquid to a simmer. You don’t want it to boil or your cream will split. Add the chicken back to the pan and cover it with a lid.
- Allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Add the mushroom ketchup if you are using it, a little grated parmesan and the lemon juice. Tear up the basil leaves and add them to the sauce. Taste for seasoning but you should not need any more salt due to the stock and the parmesan.
- Serve the Chicken with Creamy Sundried Tomato Sauce immediately with a fresh green salad.