main course,  poultry

Three-Cheese + Bruschetta Baked Chicken

Just let me start by saying, THIS IS NOT JUST ANY OL’ CHICKEN RECIPE. This is some really good stuff right here!

Imagine deliciously ripe tomatoes wading in an unctuous balsamic glaze, adorned with a garland of garden fresh basil ribbons. The perfect topping for bruschetta, right? Now imagine this embellishment atop a medley of three savory cheeses, atop a tender baked chicken breast.

Okay, maybe four cheeses. I use grated Parm in the cheese mixture with which I coat the breast; then I sometimes add a layer of shaved Parm as an additional topping once the chicken comes out of the oven.

Yum.

If you aren’t about to eat your computer screen right now, this recipe isn’t for you.

Someone gifted me with a mother lode of the most beautiful diminutive heirloom tomatoes and I went nuts making recipes. They were bursting with the taste of sunshine. The flavor of these bulbous beauties became even more potent under the heat of the oven. This is a recipe of which I am especially proud. It is so eye-poppingly winsome and delicious and easy! The trifecta of foods, for sure.

You simply make a bruschetta topping, mix together cheeses of a variety of flavors and textures, bake your chicken and serve. It is a showstopper on a bed of orzo or noodles, drizzled with some extra balsamic. Your guests will be in eternal awe of you. In this case, The Man was my casualty. He is still reeling from the deliciousness.

Here I made the recipe for just the two lovebirds…

This Three-Cheese + Bruschetta Baked Chicken is not yet award-winning, but it should be. I suppose I would have to enter it in a contest first. But really, it is a winner.

Of course I think the combo I’ve written here is spot on, but feel free to play around with the ingredients, i.e. more garlic, less basil, different proportions of cheeses…

Pour a nice chardonnay (or bubbles) and enjoy.

Cheers!

XXOO  AB

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this recipe, especially which cheeses you choose to slather onto your chicken. Leave a comment and tag #nakedepicurean on Insta so we can celebrate together!

Three-Cheese + Bruschetta Baked Chicken

INGREDIENTS

for the bruschetta topping

  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced or diced
  • 2 large basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon each S&P

for the cheese topping

  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 ounce cream cheese or Neufchatel, softened
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, softened

for the chicken

  • 4 smallish-ish chicken breast halves, about 4-6 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (or any other herbs you love)
  • 2 large basil leaves, chiffonade
  • Parmesan cheese shavings
  • balsamic glaze*
  • S&P

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Combine bruschetta topping ingredients and set aside.

3.  Combine cheeses for cheese mixture and set aside.

4. Coat both sides of chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then sprinkle with S&P and Italian seasoning.

5. Place a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over high heat. When it’s hot, lightly coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and immediately add the chicken to the pan, making sure the breasts do not touch. Cook the chicken just until it is golden brown on the outsides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.

6. Remove the pan from the heat. Divide cheese mixture into 4 portions; spread one portion over each breast. Then top each piece of chicken evenly with the tomato mixture. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the chicken until it is no longer pink inside and the cheese is melted, 10-12 minutes, depending on how thick your breasts are (internal temperature should be 165˚F).

7. Remove from oven. Top evenly with the basil, Parmesan shavings, and more balsamic glaze, if desired. Serve immediately.

*Balsamic glaze is available in the stores, or you can make your own. You simply add a sweetener to your vinegar and reduce the liquid to delicious syrup. You can use sweeteners such as brown sugar, agave, honey, or syrup.

I use an aged Denissimo Balsamico from Golden Isles Olive Oil , but any quality balsamic from the Modena region will yield amazing results. I useDlocal honey from Augusta Honey Company as my sweetener. This concoction is great on salads, cheeses, fruits, ice cream, your finger…

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sweetener

Simply combine the balsamic vinegar and honey (or sweetener of choice) in a small pot over medium heat. Once it begins to bubble, reduce the heat and let it simmer until it has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. It is ready when it coats the back of a spoon. Let cool before using.

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