Friday, August 27, 2010

Summer Garden Tomato Compote & Char Crust Chicken


 
Well, hello again!  I've been missing in action since last weekend. Sorry! At last, it's Friday and can try to post some recipes for you. The weather across the United States has been all over the place.  While my girlfriend, in Rhode Island has been telling tales of miserable heat and humidity, and extreme weather changes to rain-- well, we folks on the Central Coast of California hadn't seen sun in weeks.  Suddenly, we had a heat weave that hit triple digits for two days. My tomatoes were happy little campers!

Just the week before, I had all kinds of little green tomatoes...

...and the next time I looked, they were bursting with summer sunshine ripeness. I had to start using these fast!
Roasted tomatoes, are one of my favorite ways to enjoy tomatoes.  I turned the oven on to 375F and sliced  a Vidalia onion-- my last one, in fact.  I sliced 2 cloves of fresh garlic and heated some olive oil in my beloved cast iron skillet...

Next, I decided to cut some thyme, from our garden. Dry would work fine, too.  I cooked the onion until tender, added the garlic and cooked that for a minute. Next, I added the thyme, kosher salt & black pepper (to taste).  I turned off the heat and added these beautiful yellow pear tomatoes.   Then I paused, and went back into the garden...

...and I grabbed some cherry tomatoes that were so ripe, some of the skins were already splitting.  These were added to the mix.


I had some leftover white wine (sauvignon blanc), so I added that (about 1/4 cup). I popped the skillet into the oven, next to some chicken breasts that I was roasting.  (You could certainly cook these on the stove top if you choose to.)

About 15 minutes later, the tomatoes looked roasted to perfection.  I set the skillet on very low heat, to let the wine finish reducing.  These were so fragrant, I wish I had cooked some Angel Hair Pasta!

VERDICT:  Amazing!  My taste buds said "sweet", "savory", "mildly garlicky" and "dee-licious!   I so will make this again, as a pasta.  

About that chicken that I mentioned was roasting in the oven-- I was contacted by Susan Eriksen, "AKA Mrs. Char Crust".  Susan offered to send a few of her special rub blends for me to try.  As promised, I received an three different Char Crust blends to try.

I had just purchased two beautiful air-chilled, free-range chicken breasts (bone-in) at Whole Foods (which is where I can also buy this product.  I decided to try the Roasted Garlic Peppercorn flavor. This rubbed is described as:
Savory roasted garlic and fresh cracked peppercorns make music in your mouth. With added lilt of worcestershire and lavender, this symphonic sensation creates a crescendo of flavor with steak, lamb, fish (especially salmon), and roasted potatoes.
Sold!  Of course, I had to let me nose explore the different ingredients in this rub.  Wow!  After patting the chicken dry, I did just what I was supposed to do-- I rubbed it generously all over.  Using my second cast iron skillet, I decided to sear the chicken, starting skin side down.

About 4 minutes later, I flipped each breast over.  Very nice, I thought!  The skin is not burned at all. It's the rub, which was very fragrant.  I roasted the breast for about 18 minutes, checking that the temperature reached about 170F. 

Then I let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes. Now, for the moment of truth...

I was losing natural light, so these photos aren't as detailed as I'd like. I can tell you that the chicken was very juicy.  I give credit to a few things. Using chicken that is bone-in, I am convinced,decreases the chances of ending up with dried out chicken breast meat.  It was cooked just the right amount of time, too, by watching the temperature and then letting it rest.  The trademark claim on Char Crust products is "Seals in the Juices", and I have to agree!

VERDICT:  There are a lot of flavors working in harmony with this delicious rub seasoning. At first, I thought I tasted sage. I read the ingredient label, and I was wrong.  Maybe it's the combo of Worcestershire and soy, herbs, garlic and other spices-- who knows? We both liked the chicken very much.  Thank you, Char Crust for letting me try this product. I have made a few other recipes, which I will try to share throughout the coming week.  This product is a great way to make plain chicken come to life with flavor and lots of juiciness! Oh, I will also be announcing a giveaway where you can receive Char Crust samples to try for yourself. Soon... very soon!

Pictured:  Char Crust Roasted Chicken Breasts, Tomato Compote and Hasselback Potatoes.

The next recipe I'll be sharing with you involves figs.  Wow, was this dessert great with this very dinner I just shared with you. Coming up this weekend (I hope)!


Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend with perfect weather!






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21 comments:

Big Dude said...

Both dishes look amazing. I'll keep an eye out for the spices and will definitely try the compote.

Kate said...

Great summer combination! Tomatoes and chicken, yum.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Tomatoes are my all time favorite food, but that char crust chicken is running them a close second.

Fabulous photos!
Sam

TKW said...

My lackluster cherry tomatoes are jealous of your tomatoes--they look wonderful!

Frieda said...

Drool....your food and photos are amazing! What a great combo~

Julie said...

Oh that chicken looks amazing. We eat lots and lots of chicken, I could handle something new like this. Thank you so much for sharing. The tomatoes look awesome too. Our cherry tomato plants are done but the big tomatoes are doing great so think I'll slice them into quarters and give your recipe a try too.
Thank you for sharing. Stopping by from Fresh, Clear and Pure.
Take care and God Bless!!

Stacey Snacks said...

Deb,
I have so many tomatoes, so this post is perfect!

I agree about bone in chicken, it is the only way (with skin too!).
I received the CharCrust but haven't tried it yet. This is the perfect push. Looks delicious!

Joanne said...

Your produce is so gorgeous and I am super jealous of all your tomatoes! Homegrown always tastes delicious...but your compote really takes them to another level!

Karen June Miller said...

I popped over from Wives with Knives and I definitely see the tomato theme going on! Yummy! I am a Pampered Chef and I always love being inspired to try new things!

Thanks so much for sharing!
KJ

bella roz said...

Debby, your chicken looks so juicy and I love the charred parts the best! How do you it all with your new job . . . you're amazing to me!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I must look into Char Crust. Looks wonderful.

I love roasted tomatoes too. It's the best thing to do with weak winter tomatoes to give them flavor.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

That crunchy chicken exterior is mouth-watering. I haven't eaten lunch today and would love to sink into a big piece right now!

Eugenia said...

WOW those tomatoes look so pretty!

Better Foodie said...

This is such a lovely blog and I am so pleased to have found it! What a fab recipe for tomatoes- I have just successfully grown my first batch of tomatoes and maybe I shall do this recipe with them.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I love the idea of creating a compote out of summer tomatoes! I can just imagine how flavorful it is.

Cheryl said...

Wow, I am making that tomato compote tonight along with my oven fried chicken. MY little tomatoes are doing great but my big ones seem to have stalled out!

Velva said...

The tomato compote looks fabulous! The compote screams late summer, love it.

The juicy chicken with the char rub looks fabulous too.

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

This looks delicious! Your photographs are beautiful!
I'd love for you to check out my blog and let me know what you think! www.prettygoodfood.com
Thanks and Happy Cooking!

Ingrid said...

While I'm not a fan of tomatoes I'm totally diggin the chicken. I'm gonna be on the look out for that rub.
~ingrid

Monica H said...

I've got to get my hands on some of that char crust rub. it's looks so incredbly juicy and flavorful.

Mother Rimmy said...

Absolutely lovey tomato compote! I wish I could say my tomatoes did as well this year, but the weather in Seattle has been less then sunny. :)