So basically, while the self-imposed challenge was a failure, the dish itself was a success. The more ingredients the better? I tell myself these things.
What we have here are simple pan-seared chicken cutlets topped with sautéed garlic-balsamic tomatoes. The balsamic deglazes the pan and then reduces slightly to form a light syrup. The tomatoes concentrate in flavor, then pop. Together, they blend with the olive oil, garlic, and the pan drippings left from the cooked chicken into a sweet salsa. The whole dish only requires one large frying pan and…well…eight ingredients.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets (or boneless, skinless breasts that have been butterflied and pounded thin)
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup packed fresh basil, finely chopped
Season the chicken cutlets evenly on both sides with the salt and pepper.
In a large frying pan, heat 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add half of the chicken cutlets and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip the cutlets and cook for 3 more minutes. Transfer the cooked cutlets to a plate and cover to keep warm. Add 2 teaspoons of the olive oil to the now-empty pan. Add 2 more teaspoons of olive oil and repeat cooking with the remaining cutlets.
Reduce the heat to medium, and add the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil to the pan. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and vinegar and cook, stirring frequently, until the vinegar has thickened slightly and the tomatoes have begun to burst, 7 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the tomatoes stand while you plate the chicken.
To serve, divide the chicken cutlets among four serving plates, top the chicken with the tomatoes, and sprinkle with fresh basil.