Easy peasy week night meal that is packed with flavor... everyone needs something like that in their arsenal. Ta-da. Like magic, I have swooped in to aid you in this tireless quest! This bruschetta chicken boasts bubbly mozzarella, aromatic tomatoes and the fresh flavors of garlic and basil. Everyone's favorite appetizer bite at parties is now an entree. And guess what? It is also deceptively simple.
I made this dish for myself while my husband was out of town, so I didn't add any always yummy carbs. But you can. This recipe has enough of the bruschetta topping to toss with pasta. And you could even transform it into a sub sandwich if you wanted. By my never ending battle with my growing ass lead me to opt for flavorful chicken with a heaping pile of tomatoes. Whatever you chose, you are sure to have a delicious bite filled with flavor. And don't worry Food Network Star fans, I washed my hands, repeatedly. I am like permanently traumatized by that experience. And I have a ridiculous need to disclose my hand washing practices for any unsolicited reason.
Moving on, lol. This dish only takes 30 minutes or so from start to finish and makes great left overs. And if you're in the mood to watch me ramble for 30 minutes, please enjoy this video....
2- 2 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (chicken breasts would also work)
8 oz fresh mozzarella
7 roma/plum tomatoes
10.5 oz package grape tomatoes
10 cloves of garlic, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped basil
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
1 1/2 - 2 tsp salt
1 1/2 - 2 tsp pepper
1- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
For the Chicken:
1. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a large cast iron skillet (or other pan if you do not have a skillet).
2. Add 5 cloves of minced garlic, and let it brown. this will be 2-3 minutes.
3. Salt and pepper your chicken to taste, about 1/2 tsp, or more if desired.
4. Add the chicken to the pan, and let it cook roughly 4 minutes per side, or until the chicken has browned.
5. Add 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 - 3/4 cup basil. and add it to the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so, or until it reaches 160 degrees.
6. Add sliced mozzarella to the top of your chicken and return it to the oven on the broil setting. Broil for 5 minutes. Check to make sure your chicken has made it to 165 degrees before consuming.
For the Bruschetta:
1. The most time consuming aspect of this dish is cutting tomatoes. Lol, but I have faith in you. Just shy of 9 minutes, I demo how to cut the tomatoes.
2. Begin by cutting the base off of the tomato, then cut it into quarters, vertically. Scoop the seeds and centers out of the tomato and discard them. They add too much liquid and change the texture of the bruschetta if you use them. Plus, my other ingredients/flavors are measured out for cutting them tomatoes this way.
3. Dice the tomato bottom/base and flesh into small cubes. Cut your grape tomatoes into quarters or eights.
4. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a large wok/pan and allow it to warm.
5. Add your minced garlic (the remaining 5 cloves) and let them brown (2 min or so).
6. Add your diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, chopped basil (the remaining 3/4 cup), 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes to the pan and stir.
7. Cooking, stirring for 3 or 4 minutes.
8. Top the cooked chicken with the bruschetta and/or toss with pasta.