RECIPE: Get saucy with end-of-summer tomatoes

Credit: CHRIS HUNT

Credit: CHRIS HUNT

When you’re still finding tomatoes at the farmers market or in your CSA share, but you’re tired of sandwiches and craving something warm and cozy, consider making a braising sauce.

Fresh tomatoes have plenty of their own liquid and, when cooked down with butter and aromatics, turn into a rich, colorful and flavorful mixture in which to gently cook chicken thighs.

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I like to use a combination of quick-cooking shallots and thinly slivered fresh ginger as the aromatic base for the sauce. The shallots add backbone and the ginger brings a gentle heat to the mixture. Once these ingredients have turned tender in a generous amount of butter, I lay thick slices of tomato into the pot and top with boneless skinless chicken thighs. The tomatoes will gradually let go of their liquid but, because they’re not stirred and agitated while cooking, they’ll somewhat keep their shape and can be scooped out along with the chicken once it’s done.

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Just about any fresh herb will make for a fine finish to the dish, but I especially like fresh basil. Its herbaceous bite pairs well with both the ginger and the tomatoes, and it gives the dish a pop of color.

Serve the chicken thighs straight from the pot with plenty of bread or rice to soak up the tangy, buttery sauce.