2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 halves of boneless, skinless chicken breast
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of safflower oil
8 oz of bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
3 large leeks, white part only; washed and sliced thin
1 cup of chicken stock
1 cup of half and half
1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half
2 tablespoons of minced, flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large sauté pan heat the butter. Add the chicken smooth-side down and cook on medium high for a few minutes until it gets a nice brown crust. Season with salt and pepper while it's in the pan. Flip it over and cook two more minutes. Then transfer the chicken breasts to a 9 X 13 oven proof pan and put them in the oven to roast. Don't wash out the saute pan. You are going to roast the chicken 20 - 30 minutes until cooked through and no pink remains. (The traditional Irish version would have you making this all in the same pan and topping it with a lid to cook. I think the chicken gets tough this way so I separate the two processes).
Now add the bacon pieces and fry them on medium until a nice crispy brown. Remove the bacon bites and transfer them to a piece of paper towel to drain. Pour out all of the fat except a teaspoon or two. You can leave that in the bottom of the pan. Add the olive oil and the leeks. Cook them on medium until you have them loosened up and soft. Don't brown them. Just a couple of minutes.
Now add the chicken broth and the bacon bites. (I don't call these bacon bits. They are bigger. They are bites). Simmer on medium or low for 20 minutes or so; while the chicken is in the oven. Add the cherry tomatoes to the sauce and then when you remove the chicken from the oven, put the chicken back with the sauce. Add the cream and just cook 5 - 8 minutes more to heat the cream and combine the flavors.
Serve with the parsley sprinkled on top.
courtesy of: Zola Gorgon, ArcaMax Publishing, 729 Thimble Shoals Boulevard, Suite 1-B, Newport News, Virginia 23606