Now that we are in our first days of fall, summer has decided to finally come to Southern California. The last few days have been miserably hot and it's making me seriously consider a move to Alaska...or something. This salad is the kind of food I want when the temperature affects my mood and my appetite. The cook time is very brief and very simple. This is a great after work recipe, especially if you prep the tomatoes and thyme ahead of time. I have been sort of obsessed with baby romaine this summer, but arugula, spinach, or frisee would work just as well here. Yes, this is a warm salad which seems counter intuitive on a hot day, but believe me, it will cool you down.
Chicken with Tomato-Saffron Vinaigrette
(Adapted from Serious Eats and Bon Appetit, October 2004)
Makes 2 servings
1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup minced shallots
Pinch crumble saffron
3/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper to taste
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs (can use chicken breasts)
3-4 handfuls mixed greens, frisee or baby romaine
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, shallots, saffron, and 1/4 teaspoon of paprika. Whisk to combine then whisk in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle in the thyme and add the tomatoes. Toss well to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and the remaining thyme and paprika. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the chicken breasts for 4-5 minutes per side or until they are fully cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and turn off the heat. Add the tomato vinaigrette to the pan to deglaze the pan and warm the vinaigrette making sure to scrape off any bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
Slice the chicken and divide over the greens. Spoon the vinaigrette over the chicken.