EASY Pesto Bruschetta Chicken

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YUMMO!

This chicken is so easy. Like SO easy and really yummy. I can’t really say much else. I cooked this with roasted cauliflower and balsamic glaze – which you can make yourself by reducing balsamic vinegar, but I buy it in bulk since I use it so often. You can buy it at most grocery stores already ‘glazed’ up with all the work done for you!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup pesto sauce (purchased or made from scratch. Here is my pesto sauce recipe.)
  • 1/2 cup sliced tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes b/c that’s what was in my pantry)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Your choice of vegetable side

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut any excess fat off of chicken
  3. Cover each chicken breast with plastic wrap and pound until they are thin and the same thickness.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly on both sides of the chicken breast
  5. Heat olive oil to medium heat
  6. Place chicken breast in the pan and sear for about 2 minutes on each side.
  7. Remove from heat
  8. Spray a small glass or metal baking dish with non-stick spray or oil
  9. In the pan, place both chicken breasts.
  10. Top each chicken breast with 1/2 cup of pesto. Spread out across the breast evenly.
  11. Cover with foil and place in oven for 25 minutes
  12. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes
  13. Check temperature of chicken, it should be at 165 when using a thermometer.
  14. When complete, pull from oven. Sprinkle each chicken breast with half of the cheese.
  15. Uncover. Place back in oven on low broil for about 1-2 minutes until cheese is brown and melted. Keep your eye on the chicken as you don’t want to broil too long and dry out the chicken.
  16. Pull from oven and let rest for a few minutes.
  17. Plate and top with tomatoes, then drizzle with balsamic glaze.
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Chicken searing in pan

 

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Chicken in pan, covered in pesto

 

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Chicken baked in pesto for 25 minutes

 

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Chicken post-cheese broil

 

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Final product – served with roasted cauliflower

 

 

Bruschetta: Whipped Feta & Marinated Tomatoes

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IMG_3601I am part of a group of neighborhood women called ‘Gamin Gals’ – and we get together every other month at one woman’s house to play games, drink wine, snack and enjoy each others’ company. I’ve only been part of the group for about 8 months so it was my turn to host in may. I work during the day so I needed snacks that were each to do the night before and then put together ASAP when I got home.

This bruschetta is a little different as the tomatoes are marinated overnight and have shallots in the mix, then the tomatoes are placed on top of a whipped feta spread which can be used in the future for sandwiches, other types of bruschetta, on crackers w/ fruit, you name it – its just so yummy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes – halved
  • 2 tbsp diced shallots
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp fresh chopped basil leaves
  • 6 ounces feta cheese
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese (I use low fat)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 french baguette sliced 1/2 inch thick – on the diagonal
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • Balsamic drizzle (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a food processor, mix feta, cream cheese, EVOO, honey, lemon juice, 1 tsp fresh ground pepper. Pulse until smooth. Set in fridge until ready to prepare the bruschetta.
  2. The night before (or at least 2 hours before) mix the tomatoes, shallots, garlic, both types of vinegar, 3 tbsp of the basil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper – in a dish with a tight lid.
  3. Shake the dish gently for about 15 seconds to cover all the tomatoes evenly. Refrigerate overnight if possible.
  4. Before assembling the bruschetta, toast the baguette slices in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes, turning to broil low for about 2 minutes until the tops are crispy but the bread is still soft. Pull from oven and set aside to cool.
  5. Once bread has cooled, spread a thick layer of feta spread over each of the baguette slices.
  6. On top of the feta covered bread — spread spoonfuls of the marinated tomatoes.
  7. At the end top by sprinkling the remaining 1 tbsp of basil on top.
  8. I also drizzle with a bit of balsamic reduction that I usually have on hand.
  9. SERVE!
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Fun trick to cutting cherry tomatoes: Place tomatoes on a flat lid or on a small plate.

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Fun trick to cutting cherry tomatoes: Put another lid or small plate on top and hold the tomatoes in place gently.

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Fun trick to cutting cherry tomatoes: Using a sharp knife, run the knife between the plates/lids from one end to the other. Voila!

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Mixing tomatoes, basil, shallots, garlic and vinegars

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Blending feta, cream cheese, salt, pepper, honey, EVOO and lemon juice.

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Final product!