This dinner got great feedback – husband, preschooler and toddler all cleaned their plate (well, preschooler cleaned her plate after twenty minutes of sitting at the table alone after we’d long finished and only with the hopes of ice cream for dessert). Another bonus is that though I told my husband I needed twenty minutes of child distraction from him to get dinner together, I needed even less than that – quick, easy, healthy and crowd pleasing are my main goals these days.
Though typically “make ahead” is a descriptor I seek, it does not describe this dish. Anytime you’re broiling cheese to the point of golden and bubbly, you want to serve it ASAP for the best texture and flavor. Maybe from now on I’ll only make foods that involve “golden and bubbly cheese”, because life is short and that sounds delicious.
Could you add freshly grated parmesan or oregano to this dish? Could you bread the chicken and fry it till golden? Yes, there are probably several ways to improve upon this but that would take time that neither you nor I have or want to use in the kitchen at five pm when someone is holding onto your clothes and crying (my son actually pulls my pants down now – truly – my bare butt is often in display in my kitchen).
2 large chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 large tomato, halved and thinly sliced
1/3 c. fresh basil leaves
4 slices mozzarella or about 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
Balsamic syrup, for serving
1. Thinly slice chicken breasts horizontally, forming four thin filets.
2. Preheat broil. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium high heat. Mist with cooking spray.
3. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and place in an even layer in pan. Sprinkle the second side with salt and pepper.
4. Let cook until lightly browned, then flip. Cool several minutes until browned.
5. Divide tomato slices onto tops of chicken and top tomato with basil leaves.
6. Layer cheese on top of basil, and sprinkle cheese with salt and pepper.
7. Place pan under broiler and cook until cheese is golden and bubbling.
8. Serve chicken, drizzled with balsamic syrup.