Caprese Chicken

 

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A few nights ago I came home late to two defrosted chicken breasts, three russet potatoes, broccoli and a hungry husband.

We enjoy cooking and dining in, but sometimes we run short on time.  So, I love to find fast, tasty recipes that are as fun to cook as to eat.

In a moment of desperation, I had inspiration to invent this recipe, and it worked!

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To make Caprese Chicken for two, here is what you will need:

2 chicken breasts, defrosted.  I like the individually wrapped ones that come in packages of 5 in the fresh chicken area of the store.

A tomato

Fresh mozzarella

Salt and pepper

Basil olive oil.  If you don’t have basil olive oil, then you are missing out!  You may substitute with regular extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil leaves (one or two per chicken breast).  If totally desperate, you could use dried basil, a shake or two per breast.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.  On a baking pan lined with foil or a Silpat, drizzle a couple of tablespoons of basil olive oil per breast.  Dredge the chicken in the oil on both sides.   Sprinkle both sides of the breasts with salt and pepper to taste.

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Bake the chicken for ten minutes.  Remove the baking sheet and turn the chicken over.  Place a 1/4 inch slice of tomato on each breast.  Bake the chicken for an additional ten minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place a 1/4 inch slice of mozzarella on each breast.  Add 3 or 4 drops of basil olive oil on top of each breast.  Return the chicken to the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes to melt the cheese.

Remove from the oven and garnish with a fresh basil leaf or parsley.

I loved the way this tasted.  It was fresh and light, but it also had a depth of flavor.

Cook’s note:  Balsamic vinegar is drizzled on  a traditional Caprese salad.  I taste tested this recipe with and without a drizzle of balsamic on the chicken.  I preferred this recipe without.  The balsamic overpowered the other flavors and masked the roasted flavor of the chicken.  See what you think.

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