Garlic Balsamic Caprese Chicken
Juicy caprese chicken, marinated in a garlic balsamic marinade, is baked to perfection with burst cherry tomatoes, melted mozzarella cheese, fresh basil!
This caprese chicken stands out from the rest by marinating all day in a delicious garlic balsamic marinade, then gets seared and baked until tender and juicy. Toss in some cherry tomatoes while the chicken is baking, so they develop their sugars to become little bursts of flavor, then top the chicken with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and broil until melted and gooey. Sprinkle on some fresh basil and finish the dish off with a drizzle of balsamic glaze for extra decadence! Say goodbye to boring chicken!
This recipe might look a bit familiar to you guys… I posted it back in November of 2014 (one of the first 5 recipes on the blog!). This time around I’ve made some MUCH needed updated photographs, and changed things up a bit to include my family’s new favorite way of enjoying this meal… baked and melty! If you’d prefer the original way, with the baked chicken topped with diced pieces of fresh mozzarella, raw cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and balsamic glaze, that recipe can be found HERE. Trust me, it’s absolutely delicious that way as well! Plus, over here you can see the abomination that was those first photographs of the chicken (plus a few upgraded ones). Definitely good for a laugh lol. Incidentally, if you’re intrigued about how I’ve improved my food photography, be sure to check out this post full of helpful tips and tricks!
I love easy, (and quick-cooking!) chicken dishes because my family loves chicken, and I don’t want to spend an hour and a half getting dinner together! For this caprese chicken, you do have to plan ahead a little bit, since the chicken is marinated, but to save a minute or two, you could slice up your mozzarella and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use. I wouldn’t chop up the basil beforehand though, it’ll look gross if you do it ahead of time.
Fun fact about the basil… feel free to chop it any which way you like, but my favorite way is to chiffonade it. Sounds all fancy and pretentious doesn’t it? It’s really just a fancy way of saying that you’re slicing the basil into those little ribbons you see in the photos. The best part is, it’s really easy to do, and looks impressive! Just stack your basil leaves on top of one another and roll them up (from the bottom up towards the top), like a cigar, then slice across (vertically) in very thin strips. Once they’re all chopped, fluff them with your fingers a bit, and viola… a basil chiffonade!
Go ahead and just imagine sinking your teeth into allllllll that flavor! Not only is this caprese chicken utterly delicious in every way, it’s naturally low-carb! If you’re not concerned with low-carbness though, you should absolutely try it over the top of my pasta with roasted garlic cream sauce. Out. Of. This. World!
- GARLIC BALSAMIC MARINADE
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large shallot minced
- 3 leaves fresh basil minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- TOPPINGS FOR THE CHICKEN
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes left whole or sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 - 8 oz ball fresh mozzarella cheese sliced
- leaves handful fresh basil sliced
- balsamic glaze optional
Chop garlic, shallots and basil. Add to gallon size ziploc bag.
Add Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil. Close bag and shake well to combine.
Trim chicken breasts of fat and place in marinade bag. Massage marinade into chicken and place bag on a plate in the refrigerator for approximately 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and pull the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator to warm
up on your counter.
Heat a large oven safe skillet (I use cast iron), over medium high heat with a drizzle of oil.
Add chicken to hot pan, and let caramelize for 3 minutes, flip chicken to
caramelize on the other side for 2 minutes.
Turn off burner and place pan in oven for approximately 15-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your chicken).
While chicken is cooking, chop up your topping ingredients and set aside.
The last 7 minutes of cooking time, add cherry tomatoes to the pan around the chicken.
Once chicken is cooked through (use a meat thermometer to be sure it's at 165 degrees F), lay slices of mozzarella cheese over the top of the chicken and return to the oven.
Change oven setting to BROIL and broil on HIGH for several minutes, until the cheese is melted to your liking.
Sprinkle chicken with sliced fresh basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze if desired.
1. To make your own balsamic reduction glaze, simply add about 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan with 1 Tbsp brown sugar. Heat over MED HIGH heat to bring it to a simmer, then reduce heat to LOW to keep it simmering. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool. Can be kept refrigerated.