Chicken tacos: check. Chicken fingers: check. Grilled chicken: check. Roasted chicken: check. Chicken burgers: double check. Bruschetta chicken. Triple check. There are so many ways to make chicken and yet I find myself making it the same way every week. Can you relate?
Time for a change. This bright, fresh baked bruschetta chicken dish uses simple ingredients to get you out of your chicken cooking rut. Look ahead to brighter, bolder chicken days.
There are certain food combinations that just work. Macaroni and cheese. Mashed potatoes and gravy. Grilled cheese and tomato soup. Chocolate and peanut butter. The flavors blend and mix together in a magical dance that makes your mouth and your heart happy.
Added to that list and forever engrained in food history should be the fresh, bright ingredients that make up bruschetta. Bruschetta is my go-to appetizer at any restaurant that offers it. Although you could cover bread in anything and I’d eat it…
Anyway, what makes bruschetta so good? Ripe, juicy tomatoes, spicy garlic, fresh, aromatic basil and rich balsamic vinegar. YUM. Whether it’s topped onto a toasty baguette or piled on top of a delicious crusted chicken breast, it won’t disappoint.
In the picture below you’ll see I used a silicone mat to line my baking pan. I can’t stress enough how much I LOVE this kitchen tool. It works great to keep things from sticking like gooey cookies, crispy baked french fries and breaded anything. It also doubles as an alternative for foil for things like lasagna or enchiladas where you need to cover the dish with foil while baking. Get yourself a set of two or three and you’ll find yourself using them all the time!
Before I became pregnant I was not much of a meat eater. It never sounded good and I rarely loved it when I had it, but as soon as pregnancy hit I became all about the meat! Okay, not all meat. Mainly chicken. I’m still not a big red meat eater. But chicken has found its way back into my diet and I find myself constantly searching for new ways to cook it. How many different sauces can I cover it in? Should I eat it with a fork, or with my hands between a bun? Bake or grill? I’m happy to say this bruschetta chicken recipe surprised me not only with its deliciousness, but with how much it transformed this somewhat over eaten meat.
So if you’re looking for a new way to eat chicken, give this is a go!
I mentioned this in my Oven Baked Chicken Fingers post, but the secret to a good breading that stays on is the sequence in which you bread it. Follow this process:
1. Dunk the chicken in a coating of flour.
2. Dunk the floured chicken in a bowl with beaten eggs until covered.
3. Dunk the floured, egg-ed chicken in a bowl of breadcrumbs.
4. Place on a silicone baking mat to prevent sticking.
BOOM! Perfect breaded chicken that won’t lose its crunchy little jacket.
What to Bring to the Store
In order to reduce your packaging waste, bring the following reusables with you the store:
- 2 reusable produce bags for the tomatoes and basil
If you don’t already have some on hand, flour and balsamic vinegar can also be found in bulk. Bring your respective reusables just in case! And of course bring your reusable grocery bag.
Waste Meter – 4!
This bruschetta chicken recipe gets a 4 out of 5 on the waste meter because of the ever frustrating packaging that comes with meat and dairy products. Not much you can do to avoid this unfortunately, but here’s the breakdown:
Recycle: Breadcrumb Container (OR MAKE FROM SCRATCH!) and Egg Carton
Compost: Tomato Scraps, Garlic Peel, Basil Leftovers, Egg Shells
Trash: Chicken Packaging and Mozzarella Wrapper (Unless you bought it in a plastic tub, then recycle the tub)
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 slices of fresh mozzarella (or 1 cup of shredded)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups italian herb breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Get your breading ingredients together in separate bowls. One bowl with flour, one bowl with the beaten eggs and one bowl with the breadcrumbs. Cut the chicken breasts in half to make four large pieces. Coat each chicken breast in flour, then into the egg mixture, then into the breadcrumbs. Place them on a baking sheet or roasting pan lined with a silicone mat. (If you don't have a mat, you can grease the pan otherwise.)
- Bake for 25 minutes, flipping over halfway through. Cut four large slices of fresh mozzarella and place a piece on top of each chicken breast. Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted.
- Meanwhile, remove the seeds and membranes from the tomatoes and dice into small cubes. Rinse the basil leaves and chop into small strips. Place the tomato and basil into a small bowl and add the minced garlic and balsamic vinegar. Toss lightly and put in the fridge until chicken is done.
- Once the chicken is done, remove from the oven and place onto your serving dish. Top each piece of chicken with a heaping spoonful of the tomato mixture. Serve immediately.
- You can easily make your own breadcrumbs at home! Simply use 2 pieces of stale bread, or toast 2 pieces of any bread or bun you have in your kitchen. Add them to a food processor or Vitamix, then add 2 tsp italian herb blend, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper and a glug of olive oil. Pulse until you reach small breadcrumb consistency. Use more bread if needed!