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As much as I love to cook, I always look forward to a meal out. After cooking and serving hungry men all week it can be hard to muster up any excitement over cooking on a Friday night. When the boys were small, going out to dinner alone with my husband was a big deal. Lots of planning and organization had to take place before it could happen. Lining up a babysitter; planning and cooking a meal for the boys to eat in our absence. Now that they are grown and are completely capable of fending for themselves, we can just jump in the car and go. I will forever consider this a true luxury.
We frequently hit up our favorite little Italian place and when we do, we always order the caprese to start. It consists of slices of fresh mozzarella layered with red, ripe tomatoes, and basil. They include a little prosciutto and the whole thing is drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It’s simple and perfect. We always say that with a little bread and some wine, we could easily call it dinner. I got to thinking about this and decided to add some chicken and do exactly that. I’m calling this dinner. Are you with me? Let’s do it.
The grocery list – Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, grated or shaved Parmesan cheese, prosciutto, red and yellow cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, minced garlic, and fresh mozzarella cheese. Not pictured but very necessary – boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Don’t you just love these little containers of cherry tomatoes? They also refer to them as salad tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and snacking tomatoes. I love ’em. I like to use both red and yellow for a really vibrant, pretty dish.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the halved tomatoes, garlic, basil, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Let it sit while we work on the chicken.
Coat a large skillet with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, in batches, for about 3 or 4 minutes per side. Season it with salt and pepper to taste as it cooks.
It should be nice and golden brown on both sides and the juices should run clear.
Transfer the cooked chicken to a large cutting board or other work surface and let it sit until it is cool enough to handle.
I slice the mozzarella length-wise so it will fit the pieces of chicken, just right.
Wrap a slice of prosciutto around each piece of chicken, securing the cheese. The proscuitto is very thin and delicate. It’s okay if it tears, just drape it around the chicken the best you can. It will all work out in the end!
Transfer the chicken bundles to a large baking pan that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray.
Spoon the tomato mixture, along with all of the balsamic vinegar and olive oil, right over the top.
Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top and pop it in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
The cheese will melt and the tomatoes will get warm and wonderful.
Fresh, summery, and completely divine.
- 2 (10 ounce) containers cherry or grape tomatoes tomatoes – yellow and red, halved
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 thin boneless chicken breasts
- 6 slices of proscuitto
- 6 slices fresh mozzarella
- 1/4 cup grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium mixing bowl combine cherry tomatoes, minced garlic, basil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Mix well to combine and set aside.
Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts to pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until nicely golden brown on both sides and juices run clear, about 3 or 4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a large cutting board or other work surface.
When chicken has cooled enough to handle, place a slice of fresh mozzarella on each piece wrap a slice of prosciutto around the chicken and cheese. Pour tomato mixture over the chicken and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or till cheese is melted and tomatoes have softened. Serve.