Thursday, August 8, 2013

Caprese Chicken

Fun fact: I sort of don't like tomatoes.  Let me break this down.  Through some trial and error, I've realized that what I don't actually like is the taste and texture of tomato seeds.  Their texture reminds me of Jell-O, which I absolutely hate.  As in, to the point of gagging, hate.  Ok, no talk of gagging on this food blog.  But honestly, I actually really like the rest of the tomato, aka the tomato flesh.  Yes, I'm totally taking this post to an awkward place.

Moving on...I never really thought of pulling all my major faves together into one dish.  I think chicken is a fantastically quick protein to whip up for a weeknight dinner.  I absolutely adore basil.  (Homemade basil pesto? Stop it!)  And let's not even start with the mozzarella cheese.

I've played with variations of this combination before by making Basil Pesto Chicken and a Caprese Salad.  But now, we are taking this business to another level.  Let's combine it all!  And then we drizzle the whole she-bang with balsamic sauce.  Just in case you didn't think we were serious enough.

If you didn't know before, now you know.

Caprese Chicken
very slightly adapted from The Novice Chef
makes 4 servings

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, ~1 lb
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 15-20 large basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 8 oz fresh buffalo mozzarella, sliced in 1/2 inch thick slices
  • balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze, to taste

1) Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts and set aside.

2) In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.

3) Add the chicken, cover the pan, and cook for about 10 minutes.  Flip the chicken breasts and continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through.

4) While the chicken is cooking, in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.

5) Add the tomatoes and continue sautéing until the tomato skins begin to soften or wrinkle, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil.  Set aside.

6) Once the chicken has reached desired doneness, top each chicken breast with slices of mozzarella.

7) Pour the tomato mixture on top. Cover pan with the lid once more and let the mozzarella melt, about 1-2 minutes.

8) Right before, drizzle the chicken with a splash of balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze.  Serve immediately.

You may have already guessed from the  pictures, but I used thinly sliced chicken breasts which meant I ended up with more than 4 chicken breast pieces.

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