Grilled Marinated Chicken Breasts With Sauteed Grape Or Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, and Feta Cheese
4 to 6 servings
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh basil leaves (no stems), or 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1½ to 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
- 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
- About 2 tablespoons additional extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup finely snipped fresh basil leaves (no stems), or 3 to 4 teaspoons dried basil or to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Crumbled feta or other goat cheese and sprigs of fresh basil for garnish
In a deep medium bowl or large zip-lock plastic bag, combine all marinade ingredients, blending well; add chicken breast pieces, coating each well. Cover or seal bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow chicken to absorb flavors.
Drain chicken thoroughly. Arrange chicken pieces on a grill rack, about 8 to 10 inches above slow to moderate coals (ash gray and glowing) in a charcoal grill, or at the highest level of a gas grill set at medium grilling setting. Brush chicken pieces lightly with marinade. Grill about 5 to 7 minutes; turn (over) chicken pieces, brush with marinade, and continue grilling about 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is fork tender. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste after chicken has browned. Time of grilling will depend upon thickness of chicken breasts or breast pieces. Or, chicken may be broiled on a metal rack in a broiler pan about 6 to 8 inches from heat source as previously directed for grilling chicken. Or, may sauté chicken in 2 tablespoons of hot marinade in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat until browned and fork tender, about 4 to 5 minutes per side, depending upon thickness of chicken pieces.
While chicken is grilling or broiling, sauté tomatoes. In a medium heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over moderate heat; add tomatoes and sauté about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add ¼ cup snipped fresh basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper; continue cooking, about 1 minute. Do not overcook; tomatoes should be warm and slightly soft but not broken and mushy. Tomatoes may also be prepared on top of the grill, at the highest level, on a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil turned up at the edges to form a pan; grill about the same amount of time as for top-of-the range sautéing, stirring frequently.
To serve, arrange a chicken breast or breast pieces on each dinner plate; spoon tomatoes over each serving, dividing evenly. Garnish each with a sprinkle of feta or other goat cheese and a sprig of fresh basil.
- Add about 6 coarsely chopped or diagonally and thickly sliced green onions to tomatoes while sautéing.
- Sauté 8 ounces thinly sliced fresh mushrooms in about 1 tablespoon hot extra virgin olive oil until just tender. Do not overcook. Mushrooms may also be grilled in oil on a double thickness of heavy-duty aluminum foil at the highest grill level, stirring frequently, until just tender. May add 2 to 3 tablespoons dry red wine to sautéed mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chicken breasts or breast pieces on a bed of sautéed mushrooms and topped with sautéed tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, and sprigs of fresh basil.
- Omit feta or other goat cheese; use crumbled blue or Roquefort or gorgonzola cheese.