Oh, hey. It’s reality. The reality where you buy a ton of stuff from Costco (apparently you were worried about doomsday when you went?) and then have no idea how to use it all before it goes bad. This recipe takes the reality of “ugh we’re so hungry and it’s already 5:30 and what can I even do with 3 lbs of chicken and 2 lbs of broccoli to make it good?” and makes it good. It’s bright and summery, briny and satisfying. It’s also straightforward (but not in a 1980’s powerlifting cookbook way) and not terribly hands-on (25 minutes all-in). Meet your new fancy-lazy weeknight staple.
A meat tenderizer/rolling pin
2 chicken breasts
6 cloves of garlic, 1 minced
Broccolini (or broccoli or green beans)
Preheat your oven to 400°. Get a big pot of water boiling and put loads of salt in it. It should taste like the sea!
Tear two big pieces of saran wrap and lay them down to form a plus sign on top of a cutting board. Place two chicken breasts in the middle of the saran wrap and fold it up, making a little pouch for the chicken. Pound the crap out of it with a tenderizer or rolling pin until it’s uniformly thick—about ½ an inch. Does the saran wrap make sense yet? Aren’t you so glad that chicken goo hasn’t splattered all over your kitchen? Once your chicken is flattened and you feel less stressed, remove plastic wrap and salt and pepper liberally on each side.
In a medium oven-proof skillet, heat about ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat (I just count to “4 Mississippi" while I pour). Add in 4 anchovy fillets, 2 heaping spoonfuls of drained capers and 5 cloves of smashed and peeled whole garlic (save the minced clove for later). If you have a splatter shield for your pan, this is an awesome time to use it. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until the anchovies dissolve and the garlic is golden brown. Move the crispy bits to the side and place your chicken breasts in the pan. Don't touch them! This will get them nice and browned. Cook for 4 minutes, flip, and then place the pan in the oven. If the pan looks dry, add another glug of oil before shutting the door. Cook for 10 minutes.
By now, your water should be boiling. Add in your broccolini and cook for about 4 minutes, or until bright green and fork tender. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop any residual cooking.
Once your chicken is done, move the breasts to a plate to rest. In the pan you cooked it in, crank the heat to medium-high and add the remaining minced garlic, the juice of a lemon, and a pint (or more!) of cherry tomatoes. Cook for 4-6 minutes, scraping up any browned bits off of the pan. You're ready to go when the tomatoes start to wrinkle and burst. Smoosh a few of them to get things real saucy, then remove the pan from heat.
Plate your broccoli, slice up your chicken, and pile the tomato sauce over everything with an extra drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Ta-da! Fancy-lazy awesomeness: complete.