This Italian Chicken Caprese comes together in under an hour! It's fresh and full of authentic Italian flavor!
Have you ever noticed; there's a certain cuisine that's universally popular? Everyone seems to go crazy over it; old folks, wee ones and all those in between. Diners with picky appetites as well as adventuresome epicureans. It's always a popular choice for fancy nights out and cosy dinners in. (Spoiler alert: this Italian Chicken Caprese is a delicious representation of the cuisine I'm referring to.)
You probably know by now, I'm talking about Italian food (since you read the title of this post). There's a wide spectrum of favorites in this culinary category. There's traditional (at least here in the States) spaghetti, lasagna and pizzas to zillions of delicious gourmet entrees. And each region of Italy has their own unique specialties. The common denominator in delicious Italian food is simple, fresh, high quality ingredients.
I love surprising my family with Italian fare at home as it always brings smiles of delight. But preparing wonderful Italian dishes from scratch is generally a time consuming affair. Not a problem,if I have a stay-at-home-day with hours to keep an eye on a simmering pot. That's not the norm at my house though and I'm thinking it's probably not at yours either.
So it's my pleasure to introduce you to this wonderful Italian dinner delight, loaded with bright, vibrant flavor, fresh color and simple ingredients. You can have this Easy Italian Chicken Caprese on the table in well under an hour, making it perfect for quick weeknight dinners or easy company fare. Everyone in the family loved it when I served it for dinner last week. They declared it to be quite "blog worthy".
So I made it again, this time, for you! We snapped some photos, trying hard not to drool. It was as wonderful as we remembered. I think you'll love this Easy Italian Chicken Caprese too!
- 5 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 ½ pounds skinless chicken breasts
- kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 2- inch sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms halved
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
- 4 large cloves garlic minced fine
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
- 10 ounces fresh mozzarella thinly sliced and placed on several thicknesses of paper towels to drain any excess liquid
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- sea salt for finishing
- fresh basil leaves for garnish
Place chicken in a large zipper bag or between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a flat bottom pan or a meat pounder until flat and thin (about ½ inch). Cut into serving size pieces. Sprinkle chicken generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
Place balsamic vinegar in a small pan. Add rosemary sprig and bring to a boil. Reduced to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes or until reduced to about 2 tablespoons (or half of the original volume). Remove rosemary sprig and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. When oil is hot, swirl pan to coat with oil then add mushrooms and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. At first mushroom mixture will seem quite dry. After a minute or two the mushrooms will begin to release their liquid. Continue cooking and liquid will be reabsorbed, then mushrooms will begin to take on a golden hue. Add 1 teaspoon of chopped rosemary and this point and continue cooking until deep golden brown. Transfer to a large bowl.
Wipe out pan with a paper towel. Heat pan again over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add garlic and dried spices and salt and cook for 20 seconds. Increase heat to medium high and immediately add tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally just until tomatoes are beginning to wilt, about 4-5 minutes. Add chopped basil and transfer tomatoes to bowl with mushrooms.
Wipe out pan again with a paper towel and heat over medium-high heat. Add last two tablespoons of olive oil. Add chicken and cook until first side is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip chicken to other side and cover pan. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through. Do not over cook or meat will be tough.
Remove cover and top chicken with fresh mozzarella and grated Parmesan. Cover pan and allow cheeses to melt. This will take 2-3 minutes. When melted, remove cover and scatter with tomato/mushroom mixture, leaving some of the cheese exposed.
To finish, sprinkle lightly with sea salt, drizzle with balsamic reduction and garnish with fresh basil leaves.