chicken thighs with balsamic tomatoes and basil

One of the things I simultaneously love and hate about eating primal is that we sometimes have to just throw together whatever we have lying around.  Some of our best meals have been made from whatever we could throw together (and those are the hardest meals to duplicate!), but there are times when I am not feeling so creative and can’t figure out what I want to eat.  Michael and I both scour the internet for primal and paleo recipes, but he tends to follow recipes to the letter and I tend to use them more as an inspiration and guide.  To be fair, I have a lot more cooking experience than he does and sometimes I will read a recipe and think, “Wow, that doesn’t sound great to me.  I think I’ll try it this way instead.”  I tend to shy away from “primal” versions of clearly non-primal foods, like chicken pot pie, for example, or sausage gravy and biscuits.  These recipes usually just disappoint me because I really would prefer the authentic flavor and textures of the real deal.  I would prefer not to have it at all, rather than eat a disappointing imposter.  I’m pretty minimalistic when it comes to food.  I like to cook with fresh ingredients and experience the true flavors of the food without being overwhelmed by a lot of seasonings or sauces.

So, tonight we had an overabundance of tomatoes that the neighbor keeps leaving on our porch (love that!), a basil plant that was begging to be plucked, and some chicken thighs thawed in the fridge.  I was excited about cooking because, since Michael is home with the baby, he cooks dinner almost every night.  I never thought I’d say it, but I kind of miss cooking.  So I threw together this little concoction.

  1. First, I chopped up the tomatoes (4-5 of them) and basil, sprinkled them with some pepper, and a splash of balsamic vinegar (probably about 2-3 tbsp).  I mixed that all together and left it a room temp until we were ready to eat (about an hour).
  2. Next, I sauteed some garlic and red onion in some olive oil.  Here’s a little hint:  add the chopped garlic to the oil while it’s still cold then turn on the heat.  This way it won’t burn.  When the garlic started to sizzle a bit, I added the onion to the pan and sauteed it, but left it with a little bite to it.  Then I stirred the onions and garlic into the tomato mixture.
  3. In the same pan, I added a little more oil and cooked the chicken thighs.  I like thighs so much better than breasts.  They are juicier and more tender.  When they were done, I sprinkled some mozzarella cheese on top and left them on the heat just long enough to melt the cheese.
  4. Finally, I plated the chicken and topped it with the tomato, basil, onion and garlic, and served it with a side of sugar snap peas.

I really liked it and Evelyn ate some too!  Michael said he would have liked it better with breasts and he prefers his cheese to be a little browned under the broiler.  I was just trying to save myself some dishes!  Of course, that’s the beauty of cooking this way, you can change it up and experiment with different herbs and spices and cooking techniques.  What was on your plate tonight?

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