Meals can be separated into two categories: those that are quick and simple that you make for weeknight dinners and those that are photogenic and have a *wow* effect that you save for company. And then there are some very special meals that fall into both of these categories. This balsamic caprese chicken is one of those chicken recipes that can be easily whipped up on a weeknight or dressed up on a big platter for a dinner party to “oohs and ahhs.”
Perhaps it’s because everyone loves the taste and colors of a caprese salad. If I see it on a menu, I have to order it even though I know I can just as easily make it at home. Honestly, who can resist fresh mozzarella and in-season tomatoes with basil and a good balsamic vinaigrette? Luckily, these are easy ingredients for the home cook to find and work with too. And instead of making it just a measly starter, we make it a star in our entree. The cheese is added to our chicken just minutes before it’s done in the oven so it’s slightly warm and melted when served (but feel free to just have it fresh). With summer here, you can just as easily cook the chicken in your outdoor grill.
I’ve also gotten in the habit of halving my chicken breast these days. The size of one is too big as one serving these days and can take a long time to cook all the way through, which means some parts are dry and tough. This one simple step takes care of cooking time and saves you money. Serving 8 for a dinner party? Now you only need to purchase 4 chicken breasts. People will actually be eating the right amounts and have plenty of room for your delicious dessert.
Pair it with: Any roasted vegetable! – Toss your vegetables in part of the balsamic vinaigrette for more flavor
Leftover ideas: Chop leftover chicken up for salads or filling into a quesadilla
- Skinless & boneless chicken breasts – 2
- Garlic – 2 cloves, minced
- Roma or heirloom tomato – 1, sliced
- Basil – 2 sprigs, leaves removed
- Fresh mozzarella – 4 oz.
- Balsamic vinegar – 2 tbs.
- Dijon mustard – 2 tsp.
- Brown sugar – 2 tsp.
- Olive oil – 3 tbs.
- Chicken – Slice in half and then season and tenderize with salt & pepper
- Garlic / Tomatoes / Basil – Prep as directed
- Mozzarella – Divide into 4 slices
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Whisk together balsamic vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, and olive oil
- Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Brush with some oil and then grill chicken on both sides for about 2 minutes (If grill pan isn’t large enough to fit all the chicken pieces, transfer grilled pieces onto a sheet pan). Transfer chicken into the oven and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes in the oven. In the last 2 minutes of cooking, add a slice of mozzarella onto each chicken breast
- When chicken is done, top cheese with a basil leaf and tomato slice. Drizzle with the sauce