Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Roasted Baby Tomatoes with Grilled Chicken and Tarragon #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  A few weeks ago, I shared a favorite recipe, Julia Child’s Tarragon Chicken, known in our house as “Chicken Julia.”

This dish uses some of the same flavors. (I found the original in Good Housekeeping, but surprise, surprise! I changed it!) Instead of making a sauce in a pan, the roasted tomatoes and their juices create the sauce. The first time we made this, Mr. Right’s last patient ran late – his acupuncture clinic is in our home – and the tomatoes were done before we threw the chicken on the grill. They were still warm and wonderful, but I realized that better timing would make for a better flavor, and our second try proved the theory. The tomatoes lose their juice as they cool, but when hot, the juices seep into the chicken and gives it an extra punch.

So don’t be like us. Timing matters.

We were super-proud of ourselves for growing the tomatoes, garlic, and tarragon. Not the chicken, though—too many hungry foxes and grizzlies in our neighborhood. A mix of sizes and colors makes the tomatoes extra yummy. We served this with a green salad and grilled naan -- mmm!

And yes, I did kill someone once with a meat mallet. On the page, but still. Be careful.

Roasted Baby Tomatoes with Grilled Chicken and Tarragon

1 pound grape or cherry tomatoes, mixed
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
3 tablespoons olive oil (divided use)
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
3/4 to 1 pound chicken breasts
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped

Heat oven to 500 degrees and pre-heat your grill to medium.

Cut about one cup of the tomatoes in half. Mix in a bowl or on your baking sheet with the garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, pepper flakes, and ½ to 1 teaspoon salt. Roast on the middle rack, stirring once or twice, about 18-20 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to burst and soften. (You might even hear them!) Some charring is great. If your tomatoes aren’t very juicy, you can add a tablespoon or two of water, but be careful—it will instantly steam up, so keep your hands and face out of the way.

Meanwhile, lay the chicken breasts in plastic wrap, fold, and pound to about ½" thick. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until lightly marked and cooked through, 3-4 minutes a side.

Place grilled chicken on serving plate. Toss the tomato mixture and its juices with the tarragon, and spoon on top of the chicken.

Serves 2-4.

Bon appetit!

From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. Exploding sweet tomatoes. AND from your garden!

    1. Hard frost predicted tonight -- the last tomatoes are now resting in a colander on the kitchen counter!

  2. There is something about the sweetness from a home grown tomato. Your recipe is extremely appealing to me. Love taragon, too.

    1. Our brave little 99 cent tarragon plant has lasted through 2 full seasons, and looks like it will endure this winter, too -- inside, of course!

    2. No hard freezes anytime soon in Arizona. However, no tomatoes either without quite a bit of planning and water harvesting etc. Miss the Wisconsin growing season. No freezes there yet either. Probably some little tomatoes still hanging around, however. Store bought and/or greenhouse grown just don’t equal fresh from the vine.