Chicken with Grape Tomatoes and Fried Basil


1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
4 bone-in chicken breast halves
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground dried thyme
2 cups water
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook basil in oil until it begins to get crispy and has a strong basil smell; this will take several minutes. Scoop basil out of oil with a slotted spoon, and drain on paper towels.

Remove half of the remaining oil from the pan. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste, and brown in oil; this should take about 4 minutes per side. Stir in chicken broth, wine, and balsamic vinegar. Season with bay leaves and thyme. Cover, and simmer over low heat until chicken is done and sauce is reduced; this should take about 25 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine water and rice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

Place halved tomatoes in the pan with the chicken, cover, and simmer until the tomatoes are warm. Spoon chicken pieces, tomatoes, and sauce over rice, and garnish with fried basil.