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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Caprese Chicken and Random Thursday Thoughts

First up, the chicken. This recipe is my take on my good friend Molli's recipe. What could possibly be bad about chicken, pesto, tomatoes and mozzarella? Nothing! And this is another extremely easy one. How easy? It doesn't even have measurements. Just eyeball it and use as much or as little of something as you like. This is one of those meals that my husband ate with lots of approving noises, lol. That means he's really enjoying what he's eating!

Did I make my own pesto? No, though I do in the summertime. For this chilly New England girl, Trader Joe's is my wintertime pesto savior. Thank you, TJ's! I used fresh tomatoes, also from TJ's--but if you can't find any decent ones, go ahead and try canned. Then it really becomes a pantry dinner! I usually keep shredded cheese in the freezer, too, so if you do that--along with a jar of good pesto, a can of diced tomatoes, and add a pack of boneless chicken, you can have this one on the table with little effort.

Here's the recipe, and like I said--there are no exact measurements. Use as much breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese as you need to coat your chicken. Same with tomatoes, pesto and cheese--use your own judgement.

Caprese Chicken

To print this recipe, click here!

boneless chicken breasts, filleted
kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
a couple of beaten eggs
grated parm (some to mix with breadcrumbs, some to sprinkle on chicken)
sliced tomatoes (or drained canned, diced tomatoes if that's what you've got)
shredded mozzarella

Heat oven to 375.
Fillet the chicken breasts if you haven't already. They cook faster, and stay juicier. Trust me on this.
Sprinkle them generously with the salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders.
In a plate, mix some grated parm in with the breadcrumbs.
Dip the chicken in beaten egg, then in breadcrumbs.
Heat an oven safe skillet over medium-med. high heat, then add some oil to the pan-about 2-3 tbsp.
When the oil is hot, add the chicken.
Brown 3-4 minutes per side, depending on thickness.
Remove pan from heat, and then slather the tops of each breast (the chicken ones, not yours, lol)
with some pesto--as much as you like.
Top each one with sliced tomato, then sprinkle each with parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella.
Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 3-4 minutes, then if you want some color on your cheese, turn the broiler on-broil for 2-3 minutes. Watch it carefully, though!

Look at the gorgeous Boule Bread from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day! I can't remember the last cookbook I've gotten so much use out of, seriously.

Random Thursday Thoughts:


It's so much fun! I didn't think I'd get into it at first, but you know what? It's addictive. And I've made some good friends using it, too! It's a great way to network and get to know people with the same interests as you. If you want to follow me, click here:

Hello to all my Tweeps!


The mailman.

Whatever happened to that old saying? "Neither wind, nor rain, nor sleet, nor snow..." Now, I know how hard letter carriers work. And yeah, they do have to be out in some really crappy weather. But what do you do when your letter (I know, not ALL letter carriers suck, so no hate mail, please!) We had a great mail carrier at our previous house, but the one we got when we moved? ugh. He's an old, crusty dude. Grumpy, too. We
STILL get mail from people that lived here three families ago! No matter how many times we tell him they don't live here and haven't for years. We get the neighbor's mail, they get ours, sometimes we get none at all, and then the next day, get two days worth. sigh. I think every single person on this street has called and filed complaints about him. So we have to put up with all of his issues, but God forbid there's 5" of snow at the street end (thanks to that last pass from the plow) of an otherwise clear front walk and porch. We get no mail that day, and a note the next day. "Not delivered because not shoveled." freaking grrrrr!

Glad I got that off my chest. Thanks for listening! :)

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Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

That is a great combo...{{adding to grocery list}}

Anonymous said...

I'm adding it to next week's menu - Thanks for sharing.

Re mailmen - When I've gotten various neighbors' mail by mistake, I've always returned it promptly and politely. When I use to live in a condo building, people who would get my mail would OPEN it (which is illegal) and then return it anonymously. Very upsetting, especially when they are super nosey and open your mortgage statement!

toontz said...

Mmm, this looks great! Pesto, tomatoes and cheese - how could you go wrong?

About the mailman, I can sympathize. We have a nice one now, but I have had some cranky ones, too. I had one in Chicago that would leave me notes about the walk not being shoveled. He had enough energy to leave me a note, but not to deliver the mail. Put some boots on like the rest of us do!

kat said...

Great looking easy chicken.
I know I should join Twitter, I'm afraid of being sucked in!
I can't even imagine if our mailman wouldn't deliver because of snow. We all have mail slots into the house so he just walks right through the snow in our front yards

Robin said...

this looks sooo good Elle!! For those that are trying to eat healthier- would this be easily done oven baked rather than fried with oil? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

All my favourite foods together! Why havn't I thought of this before?! Can't wait to try it. Maybe with the addition of some thinly sliced ham...I'll work on that...

Anonymous said...

I am always for searching for quick & easy chicken ideas. This combo certainly looks fab, Elle!

grace said...

first of all, i think using the word "crusty" to describe a person is hilarious. :)
secondly, i'm loving this dish. it transports me to a warmer time. :)

RecipeGirl said...

This looks like a goodie to whip up so quickly. So pretty and delicious looking. Can I come to your house for leftovers??

Anonymous said...

This chicken looks fantastic! All of our favorite ingredients put together on our scrumptious dish! Yay! Even 18-year-old Mr. Persnickety would go crazy for it.

Anonymous said...

This is such an easy dish to make and it tastes so good. Have with a glass of Chardonay or Pinot

Anonymous said...

Hi Elle! This chicken looks fantastic! I am curious, what are you going to serve on Superbowl Sunday!?!

Anonymous said...

I am sooo glad that you cleared up that the pesto goes on the chicken breasts! I just about died! My husband was very concerned! Too funny! These look great, and easy, and perfect.


Donna-FFW said...

Ive had chicken caprese before but never with pesto. Sounds (and looks) like a winning combination. I just love your blog. I check in daily!!

vanillasugarblog said...

I love that there is bread served too. And then you put cheese on I'm starving. I love my tomatoes with baked cheese on them, never thought to somehow incorporate this with chicken. I'm having macadamia nuts for dinner and wish I had this

Anonymous said...

my hubby may love you for this, Elle. ;-)

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Love this Elle. I could whip this out fast and no one would be any the wiser!!! Had to laugh at your postman rant. We are really lucky to have suck a good one!

MrOrph said...

Yes...yes....I see what you did there. And I like it. :-)

Deborah said...

This looks so elegant!

test it comm said...

That chicken looks tasty!

giz said...

You're right - what could really be bad about this combination. And - since I'm eating with my eyes at this point - I'm liking what I'm eating.

Michele said...

I made this for dinner the day that I read your post. It was perfect to cure my chicken parm-ish craving.
I'm glad that you're one of my tweeps Elle...never a dull momemt! :)

Sharon said...

Hmm, I think I can get my hubby to eat tomatoes if there are breadcrumbs and cheese involved! Perfect weeknight dish. I'd love this with some toasty bread.

Peter M said...

Elle, I'm going to hold off until I get get some decent tomatoes...this is an easy & delish dish for weeknights.

Colleen said...

This looks sooooo good - I love when cheese is browned under the broiler!

Annie said...

Looks super delicious! I will try this one for sure!

hungryandfrozen said...

I ate way too much cake today and I wasn't even hungry until...I saw this post. That combination of ingredients can only be delicious. Hope the mail-person situation perks up soon, sounds completely frustrating!

Garrett said...

Just move to San Diego, and your mailman worries will go away forever! Actually no, we get our neighbors' mail all the time...but at least you won't have to shovel your lawn anymore.

Shelby said...

Oh Elle, this looks absolutely delicious!! I want this tonight!

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

This looks amazing!!!

Cris said...

Hi Elle! I think I'll add this too to my menu soon... I love the way you did, I use tomasto sauce, but I like this way better with the tomato slices!!! I need to get this bread book... :-)

Cynthia said...

If you give me the tomatoes alone I'd be satisfied.

Deeba PAB said...

What a great looking chicken dish...& LOL about the slathered breasts. I'm still trying to fgure out the twitter thingy, & it's taking me loooooong!

Thistlemoon said...

That looks so yummy Elle! :)

We have the crapiest postal service here in SA, Fl. I mean we can't even use our mailbox for outgoing mail because they don't pick it up - they are rude at the post office itself - where we have to go to deliver the mail. Argh! Roberto says it is worse than Italy- and Italy is notorious for having crappy mail service - his family still hasn't gotten their Christmas gifts that we mailed 2 weeks ahead! Argh!

(thanks for letting me rant!)

Anonymous said...

The resident hunkster would go nuts over this and I'm loving no measurements. I have Little Red Hen issues on Thursday nites in my kitchen, so I'm thinking this would solve my slobbering on about how no one appreciates me. Hahahahaha!

And if it makes you feel better, we get mail from 6 people ago. I think one of them is deceased, too.

Shaheen said...

Elle, the caprese chicken looks really tempting. I could have that for lunch right now!

Ben said...

This is my kind of recipe, where you don't need a recipe to come up with great food. I just love mozzarella cheese :)

Mrs Ergül said...

My husband will really love this dish!

And oh no! That is a really grumpy old man! How frustrating!

Unknown said...

Hi Elle... this looks delish... its making my mouth water!

Sophie said...

That looks divine!

PAC said... delicious! Thanks for the recipe!!

PAC said...

mmm..looks delish!! Thanks for the recipe!!

Susan said...

This sounds really yummy- Ill have to try it- we eat a lot of chicken and if does get boring sometimes. This will kick it up a few notches for sure!
As far as the mailman goes- I would go nuts and get a post office box just so I wouldn't have to deal with him...I would also keep writing in the complaints - eventually they have to do something! Good luck!

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