July 3, 2014

Bruschetta Chicken


Tomatoes are in season!  There's nothing quite as delicious as a ripe, freshly picked tomato, and I had some lovely organic ones that I wanted to use with dinner.  I decided to make one of my family's favorite meals, bruschetta chicken.  The chicken is incredibly juicy, and the bruschetta topping is light and delicious - a fresh taste of summer!  It's made on the stove top, so you don't have to heat up the oven, and ready in under 30 minutes.  It's the perfect summer meal! 

We've been trying to use organic foods whenever possible. I've used organic ingredients many times in my cooking, but this is one of the first meals that I've made using nothing but organic ingredients.  Switching to cooking with only organic ingredients isn't as easy as I thought it would be.  You have to remember everything right down to the cooking oil that you use.  While I was prepping my ingredients, I realized that I had forgotten to purchase bread crumbs.  Thankfully, I had a loaf of organic, 100% whole wheat bread, so I decided make the bread crumbs myself.  They turned out fantastic!   

Note about homemade bread crumbs:  You can store the bread crumbs at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.  You can also freeze the bread crumbs.  To freeze, do not bake them first.  Simply place them in an airtight container and freeze.  When you are ready to use them, allow them to thaw, and then bake them.  




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Ingredients:  
Serves 3 - 4

  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil 
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 c tomato, chopped
  • 3 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 c Italian bread crumbs, homemade recipe follows 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping 
  • Fresh basil, for garnish

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Stir in the basil, garlic powder, onion salt, a pinch of pepper, and tomato.  Set aside, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.   Dip the chicken into the egg, allowing the excess to drip off.  Press the chicken into the bread crumb mixture to coat.  Place the chicken in the hot skillet.  Cook for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until chicken is cooked through and has a dark brown crust.  

Generously spoon the bruschetta evenly over the chicken.  Top with mozzarella cheese.  Cover and cook just long enough for the cheese to melt, about 1 minute.  Garnish with fresh basil.  

Enjoy!


Homemade Italian Bread Crumbs:
Yields 1 1/2 cups
Recipe by Alton Brown

  • 4 oz 100% whole wheat bread, torn into 1-inch pieces 
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt



Directions:  

Preheat oven (I use a toaster oven) to 300 degrees.

Place the bread, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and kosher salt in a food processor.  Process until coarse crumbs form.

Bake for 4 to 5 minutes.  Cool for 15 minutes.

Enjoy!  







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Original photo (2011):

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