Sunday, July 20, 2008

You say tomato, I say tomahto

Whether it is a requirement for living in small town America or not, I'm not sure; but it seems to me that everyone here does it; therefore, I caved into peer pressure - I tried growing some of my own produce this year! For a city girl, I am quite proud of myself; although if I am at all honest, it was a bit of a failure. All that I managed to grow was a few strawberries, my own herbs, a Roma tomato (I am still hoping that there will be more), and I am still working on some green bell peppers (which is not looking too promising). Not only did I grow my own produce but I even cooked with it as well - novel idea, I know. The recipes were wonderful and since I know so many of you love to cook I have included one of our favorite recipes in this post. Let me know what you think.

Chicken with Bacon, Tomato and Thyme (courtesy and George Stella)

8 pieces bacon, par-cooked half-way (may use precooked)
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into halves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped (I omitted this)
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced (bought 1 and grew 1!)
1 bunch fresh thyme (grew my own!)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To par-cook bacon, lay slices on a sheet pan and bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven for about 10 minutes until half-cooked. Remove and reserve.

Working on a sheet pan, coat the chicken breast with olive oil and minced garlic. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Next, wrap 2 pieces of par-cooked bacon strips criss-cross around each piece of chicken, forming an "x" pattern in the center. Sprinkle with the diced onion and place a thick slice of Roma tomato and a couple sprigs of fresh thyme in the center of each breast, tucked in behind the bacon.

Arrange chicken a little apart from each other on the sheet pan and bake until the chicken is completely cooked and reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 30 minutes.

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