Sunday, October 16, 2011

Caprese Stuffed Chicken with Balsamic Reduction

Who doesn't love Italy?

Even if you've never been to Italy you love it.

We also love the Italian colors of red, green & white, they are used in everything, flags, food, decorations, furniture. They are everywhere.

We love salad, especially caprese salad which is tomato (red), basil (green) & cheese (white) with balsamic vinegar.

So since we love all those things so much why not stuff them into the meat that we also love so much, chicken & top it with a sauce that everyone loves as well, balsmic vinegar.

I'm always trying to come up with new & different things to do with chicken. We have it alot around the GWW house & it gets boring fixing it the same way all the time. So, I thought I was being brilliant when I came up with this recipe.

Come to find out I'm not the first person to create this.

I was a little disappointed to find out I wasn't as creative as I thought or at least not anymore creative than every other foodie out there.

But I'm okay with it, I think.

Let's see what you think.

I started with 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast. These were of pretty good size too. So I placed them on top of some wax paper & covered them with another sheet of wax paper.

And I beat them to within an inch of there lives. Actually to about 1/2 an inch. It took banging on the chicken on both sides to get them as thin as I wanted. My poor mallet was worn out.

Then I seasoned both sides with seasoned salt, pepper, garlic salt & italian seasoning & set them to the side.

I grabbed 3 roma tomatoes, one for each chicken breast, sliced them in half & got all the seeds out.

I sliced some fresh mozzarella, 2 slices for each chicken breast & I grabbed a basil leaf or 2 (not pictured) for each chicken breast as well.

I layered the tomatoes, basil & cheese on one end of the chicken breast.

And carefully rolled it up, securing it with toothpicks. This is not the neatest chicken rolling job I know, but it's the best I could do. Next time I may beat the chicken out thinner to see if that helps.

I then heated some olive oil over medium high heat & seared the outside of the chicken, again, not an easy task with the toothpicks.

I browned the chicken on each side for about 2-3 mins, just long enough to get a good golden crust on them.

Then they were placed in a greased baking dish & baked on 375 for about 30 mins.

They came out golden & delicious. But as you can see I needed to do a better job of closing up the ends of the chicken as some of the cheese made it's way out. So make that mental note for yourself.

While the chicken baked I prepared a balsamic reduction. I failed to take pictures of that, but it would have been pretty boring because all that consist of is 1 cup of balsamic vinegar brought to a boil then the heat reduced to simmer until it reduces by half, then add 1/4 cup of brown sugar & continue heating until mixture is thick & syrup like.

Slice your chicken & drizzle with the reduction & serve. The balsamic reduction is the key to this chicken, it was a delicious combination.

Try it yourself & let me know how it turns out.

Caprese Stuffed Chicken with Balsamic Reduction
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to 1/4" thick
Seasoned Salt, Garlic Salt, Black Pepper & Italian Seasoning to taste
3 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half & seeds removed
6 slices 1/4 slices of mozzarella cheese
3-6 fresh basil leaves
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Season both sides of the chicken breast with the salts, pepper & italian seasoning. Place 2 tomato halves, 1 or 2 basil leaves & 2 slices of cheese on one end of chicken breast. Roll chicken, jelly roll style & secure sides & ends with toothpicks. Heat oil over medium high heat, place chicken breast in oil & sear each side, about 3 minutes per side. Place chicken breast in baking dish in greased baking dish & bake for 30 minutes. While chicken bakes heat balsamic vinegar over high heat to boiling, reduce heat & simmer until vinegar has reduced by half. Add brown sugar & continue heating until mixture has thickened & has a syrup like texture. Once chicken is done, slice & drizzle with balsamic reduction to serve.

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