Well, summer is officially upon us. And I by "officially", I mean that it is H-O-T. I judge when it is hot by determining how early I have to wake up to run. It has reached the point that the time I have to wake is much too early to be waking up on summer break. Not that I'm on summer break yet, though. 2 more days!
Anyways, my Business Man and I have spent the weekend settling in to our new home. It is finally starting to feel like somewhere we want to spend our time! Which is a good thing. Because we'll probably be here for awhile.
I have gotten to spend a lot of time in my new kitchen, which makes me happy. Aside from making 150 cupcakes Friday night, I made a Spinach Orzo Salad yesterday, and Strawberry Scones this morning for breakfast.
And then there was tonight's dinner. Bruschetta Chicken.
I had good intentions of grilling the chicken as the recipe indicates, but we had no luck in finding our bag of charcoal. It seems to have gotten lost in the move, along with my white serving platter, my zebra plate, and my notepad of "What's for Dinner?" that goes on the fridge. People who helped us move that day, any ideas where they could be?
Bruschetta is not something my Business Man and I typically order when we're out to eat. But when our dining companions order it, and kindly share, we always wonder, "Why don't we ever order this?" It's so light and refreshing.
This chicken is exactly that way: light and refreshing, with a garlicky-basil flavor. Perfect for summer! Especially when served over some freshly toasted garlic bread.
To start, take 1-2 boneless chicken breasts and pound them to an even thickness. I just used one, and this baby was plenty enough for both my Business Man and me.
Then, you mix up the marinade.
|Looks, weird but smelled wonderful! Garlic, parmesan, basil...|
While the chicken is baking, you've got to get your tomatoes and basil ready.
The trick to chopping basil is to "chiffonade." Basically, you stack a bunch of basil leaves on top of each other.
Roll them up, almost like rolling up a rug. A teeny, tiny rug.
Then take your knife through it all. You get a nice little swirlies of basil.
Once the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and slice it up. Top it with a generous sprinkling of mozzarella cheese (fresh mozzarella would be divine!) and tent it with foil so the cheese melts.
To serve, lay out some sliced tomatoes on a serving platter. Place the chicken over the top of the tomatoes, and then top with additional chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, and all that glorious fresh basil.
It's like summer on a plate. We served ours up with toasted garlic bread. My Business Man made little open-faced sandwiches with his, but I ate mine separate. It was delicious both ways.
By the way, I used *real* butter on my garlic bread tonight (vs. butter spread) and it was 100X better than usual! I just always use the tub butter because it's easier to spread, but we don't have any. I'm pretty sure I will always be using real butter from now on.
We enjoyed dinner out on the patio. We need to invest in some patio furniture, as we've been taking the TV trays outside to eat. Classy, I know.
In house news, my Business Man installed a ceiling fan in our living room yesterday! I had my doubts (working with electricity is tricky!), but he did a fantastic job. It looks great!
|Yay for ceiling fans!|
- 1-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tomatoes, half diced, half sliced
- ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. dried basil
- 2 tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese
MethodSeveral hours in advance, pound chicken to an even thickness. For marinade, combine all marinade ingredients, and pour over chicken in ziploc bag or tupperware container. Marinate in refrigerator at least 2 hours but no more than 24.
When ready, preheat oven to 350*F and preheat skillet to medium heat. Place chicken in skillet with 1 tbsp. olive oil, and cook 2-3 minutes on each side. (Or, grill a few minute on each side.) Place chicken in baking dish and bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked all the way through.
When chicken is done, remove from oven and slice. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and tent with foil to melt the cheese.
To serve, lay sliced tomatoes on serving platter. Top with chicken. Top with diced tomatoes, garlic, and basil. Serve with toasted garlic bread.