Sometimes it’s hard to pick just one dish from The Garden-Fresh Cookbook! To solve this dilemma, I chose to pair my Spring Risotto with Chicken-Stuffed Tomatoes from page 181 of The Garden-Fresh Cookbook. This dish can make anyone look like a fancy cook!
The coring of the tomatoes was easy—just be sure to leave a wall thick enough to support the stuffing. After that, it’s on to the ingredients to be put inside the tomatoes. If you have time, try marinating the chicken with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and seasoning beforehand to enhance the flavor even more. I did not have time to do that this time, but I am looking forward to making this dish and experimenting with the ingredients for my next dinner party!
My best friend from college was visiting for the weekend and helped with the Chicken-Stuffed Tomatoes. She stuffed the tomatoes to the brim and placed a slice of butter on top. We put the tomatoes in the oven and let them cook for 20 minutes. It’s great to find a dish that bakes in the oven while you cook a dish on the stovetop. Both the tomatoes and my Spring Risotto came out at the same time, warm and ready to plate.
This dish was fantastic! The celery added just the right texture with the chicken, and the basil and thyme boosted the flavor. While we sat at the dinner table enjoying our meal, we decided to pull the balsamic vinegar from the pantry and add it to the Chicken-Stuffed Tomatoes. I find sliced tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic to be the perfect springtime snack, and adding the balsamic to this dish was great! We even talked about how next time we make this recipe, we’d like to add balsamic vinegar to the stuffing.
I’d love to hear from my fellow cooks about other “experiments” they have or would like to try with this recipe or one similar! Now that spring has finally arrived, I can’t wait to host a dinner party in the backyard. This recipe will definitely be on the menu.
Chicken-Stuffed Tomatoes (as found on page 181 of The Garden-Fresh Cookbook)
4 large, firm tomatoes
1-1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil or
1 teaspoon dried chervil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste
butter, to taste
parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a large baking dish. Core the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds, leaving the tomato wall at least a 1/4-inch thick. Place the tomatoes in the baking dish. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, celery, chervil, basil, and thyme, and mix well. Add the cream and toss until everything is coated. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the chicken mixture into the tomato shells. Dot the top of each tomato with butter and bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with parsley. Makes 4 servings.
Jane received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts at Western Washington University where she studied Creative Writing. She now lives in the greater Seattle area, where she writes and drinks copious amounts of coffee. When she isn’t writing, cooking, gardening, or taking photos, you can find her at local shows and concerts, or running to prepare for yet another half marathon.