Fall has officially arrived, and the farmers markets are in full swing. If you live in our Lincoln Square neighborhood, please check out the Farmers Market held on Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons. We've partnered with Lafevor Farm, and they have been sponsoring us all summer long, providing the produce for our virtual and in-person classes. They always bring beautiful produce to the market, and you can even order online and pick up at the market!
Tomatoes are in season right now, and there is so much you can do with them. Whether you enjoy them in salads or canned or just as a quick snack, which is my favorite way to eat them! I like to salt heirloom tomatoes, let them sit for about 10 minutes, sprinkle them with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and eat them with a hearty slice of bread.
I would like to share with you this warm tomato vinaigrette recipe, which consists of sherry vinegar and Dijon mustard, which is the emulsifying agent. I’d recommend using cherry or grape tomatoes and you don't have to cut them, just add them into the hot pan and they will cook down very easily. If you want it to be less acidic, I recommend yellow, grape or regular tomatoes. You can use this vinaigrette on chicken, pork, fish or over healthy greens such as arugula and kale, which are also plentiful this time of the year.
For this dish, I prefer chicken thighs, because they are flavorful and easy to prepare. Using chicken thighs may intimidate some due to the fat content, but the fat is precisely what makes them taste better, and you never have to worry about eating dry chicken! For this recipe, use boneless thighs. They will cook easily, and you will be able to finish them in the pan as you are not braising them. If you feel like braising, I would recommend bone in thighs with the skin or you could also sear the bone in thighs, add half a cup of chicken stock and finish them in the oven for about 20 minutes.
Seared Chicken Thighs served over Fregola Pasta and a Warm Tomato Vinaigrette
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Active time: 30 minutes
Start to finish: 50 minutes
4 pieces boneless chicken thighs
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
Salt and pepper to season
1 cup Fregola pasta
For the Warm Tomato Vinaigrette (Recipe credit of Michael Ruhlman's book Ratio)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1 minced shallot
1 clove of fresh garlic
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
1 ounce sherry vinegar
5 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Boil the fregola pasta in salt water until al dente. Use a ratio of 2 cups of water to one cup of pasta. Make sure that the water is boiling and it is heavily salted, before dropping in the pasta. Take the fregola pasta out, drain and coat with a tablespoon of olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
2. Season the chicken thighs and leave them out at room temperature.
3. Heat up your skillet or braiser and add the grapeseed oil to the pan, sear the chicken thighs on both sides until golden brown.
4. Take the chicken out, add the olive oil and shallots. Cook for about two minutes until translucent, add the chopped garlic, stir for about five seconds.
5. Add the sherry vinegar, once the liquid is reduced to half, add the cherry tomatoes and Dijon mustard, add salt and pepper to taste, finish with the chopped fresh dill.
6. Once consistency is achieved, remove the vinaigrette from the pan.
7. Spoon the fregola pasta on the plate, place the chicken thighs on top and coat with the tomato vinaigrette.
Learn how to make a different sauce that utilizes tomatoes in The Chopping Block's upcoming Fall Brunch on the Patio on Saturday, October 3 at 11am. This menu sounds amazing, and you'll enjoy it all on our outdoor grilling patio at Lincoln Square.
- Hot-Smoked Salmon with Grilled Bagels and Herb Cream Cheese
- Sweet Potato Hash with Blackened Eggs and Creole Tomato Sauce
- Apple-Endive Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette
- Grilled Fruit Skewers with Bourbon-Honey Glaze
If you'd rather cook with us virtually, you won't want to miss our virtual cooking demo on Thursday, October 8 at 6pm CST as you learn how to make another tomato favorite:
- Shrimp Santorini (Sautéed Shrimp with Tomatoes, White Wine, Dill and Feta)
- Oven-Roasted Lemony Greek Fries