As tomato season picks up, you may be seeing more options out there, like the sweet yellow ones I serve with this smoky mesquite chicken. The technique behind the simple tomato side dish is macerating — a fun and super-cool way to jazz up a recipe. Macerating is similar to marinating, but the term is traditionally used when talking about fruits and vegetables. As fruits and/or veggies soak in acidic ingredients like vinegar, citrus juice, wine or liqueur, they absorb the liquid, soften, and develop a more intense flavor. For the best results, once you combine the fruits/vegetables and their soaking liquid, let them “brew” for at least 30 minutes to develop full flavor.
In this recipe, I partnered the tomatoes with tangy white balsamic vinegar (I used raspberry-seasoned white balsamic vinegar – YUM!). I also added a little sugar (not uncommon) to draw moisture out of the tomatoes and create a syrup. The result is a sweet and flavorful embellishment for grilled chicken. You can also serve the tomatoes with fish, shellfish, pork, and steak.
Mesquite Grilled Chicken with Macerated Yellow Tomatoes
2 cups yellow cherry tomatoes, halved (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 4 ounces each
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons mesquite seasoning, preferably salt-free
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, vinegar and sugar. Mix well and let stand for 30 minutes (and up to 24 hours, refrigerated).
2. Coat a stove-top grill pan, outdoor grill or griddle with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. Rub the mesquite seasoning into both sides of the chicken. Add the chicken to the hot pan and cook for 5 minutes per side, until cooked through.
3. Fold the basil into the tomatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken on a serving plate and arrange tomatoes and their liquid alongside.
Nutrition Info Per Serving
Total Fat: 3 grams
Saturated Fat: <1 gram
Total Carbohydrate: 5 grams
Sugars: 4 grams
Protein: 27 grams
Sodium: 78 milligrams
Cholesterol: 72 milligrams
Fiber: <1 gram