Bruschetta Chicken

Fresh, flavorful, uncomplicated and healthy.  What’s not to love??

It’s always nice to find a new recipe that is different than anything else I make. To find one that we love which is also so easy to prepare is a huge bonus. The combination of fresh tomatoes, flavorful herbs and tangy balsamic vinegar over juicy chicken topped with a combination of Italian cheese is superb. Pair it with freshly baked ciabatta bread and an oaked Ox-Eye Vineyards Pinot Noir and it defies description.

Bruschetta Chicken

1 lb. thin-cut boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup EVOO
2 Tbls. balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Tbls. Italian herb seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 pint diced cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded Italian blend cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil

Place chicken breasts in a large resealable plastic freezer bag. Combine the EVOO, balsamic vinegar, garlic, Italian herb seasoning, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until combined. Pour HALF of the marinade over the chicken, reseal bag, and in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours. (Overnight is fine.)
Preheat your grill to medium high or about 350 degrees F. Combine remaining marinade with diced tomatoes; set aside. Transfer chicken from marinade onto grill surface and discard marinade. Grill chicken for 3-4 minutes per side or until cooked through. (It is also okay to fry them in a pan over medium heat.) Transfer the chicken to a serving plate and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Spoon bruschetta mixture over chicken and top with basil; serve immediately.

The Ciabatta Bread is mixed in a bread machine on the Dough Cycle and then baked in the oven. I honestly could make a meal out of just it dipped in a high quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil seasoned with real grated Parmesan cheese and some fresh ground pepper. The dough is very sticky. Don’t give into the temptation to add more flour. Treat it gingerly to keep from bursting all the lovely air bubbles that form. It makes two loaves. If you don’t need both immediately, double bag one and stick it in the freezer. Thaw it at room temperature for several hours. It was pretty darn close to fresh baked.

 

Chicken Marsala with Sun-dried Tomatoes

I don’t usually think of “Coastal Living Magazine” as a source for recipes. Maybe I should! This dish was an instant hit with the family and with those I have shared it with. As usual, I have altered it a bit to cut back on the fat content, but it is still a flavorful, restaurant-quality meal that is easy to prepare.

Chicken Marsala with Sun-dried Tomatoes

4-6 thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (8-ounce) package baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons diced sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup dry Marsala
1/4 cup light cream

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a food-grade plastic bag. Add the chicken breasts one at a time and shake to coat thoroughly between each addition.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. (I actually spray my pan with an oil mister.) Add the chicken breasts, and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Transfer chicken to a platter, and loosely cover with aluminum foil.

Add remaining 1 Tbls. oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon salt; sauté 5 minutes or until mushrooms begin to turn golden. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add sun-dried tomatoes and Marsala; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until slightly reduced. Stir in cream; simmer 2 more minutes. Return chicken to skillet, turning to coat with sauce; simmer until heated through.