We eat a lot, and I do mean A LOT, of chicken around here. It’s easy to prepare, reasonably priced and versatile. However, it can become, well, boring … yawn. So, while menu planning last week, I had a brainstorm to combine two of my favorite things: bruschetta and chicken to create this Easy Bruschetta Chicken recipe.
What Is Bruschetta?
Bruschetta is a traditional Italian topping for crostini made with tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. It’s really simple to prepare and requires nothing more than tomatoes, fresh basil and a few pantry staples. I especially like this recipe from Simply Recipes and adapted it for my recipe below. You can prepare it the traditional way with toasted bread and serve it as an appetizer. The next night, use the leftovers (if there are any!) to make Easy Bruschetta Chicken.
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know I have two tomato-hating boys here at home. (Sigh.) One of the best things about this recipe is that the bruschetta topping goes on after the chicken finishes on the grill. So, I can serve the chicken either plain or with the topping. For this recipe, I marinated the chicken breasts most of the afternoon in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper just to give it a little flavor.
The night I prepared this Easy Bruschetta Chicken, we had a dinner guest. I serve as the president of the school board where my son attends school. Recently, we hired a new principal who is brand new to the area and doesn’t know many people yet. So, I invited her for dinner to spend a bit of time getting to know her and to help her get acclimated to her new neighborhood. I’m thrilled she lives just a couple of blocks away and seems to be enjoying her new apartment. Like me, she likes to cook, so I wanted to make something I thought she’d enjoy. Since I knew two of my peeps weren’t having the bruschetta topping, I figured I’d have plenty for all of us to enjoy. And we did!
The night Anne Marie came to dinner, it was a 90-degree day outside and I wasn’t about to run the oven unless I absolutely had to! So, it was a no-brainer to grill the chicken instead of baking it. However, it would be fine to bake the chicken in the oven and then add the bruschetta topping. I also added a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese to the chicken prior to adding the tomatoes … so delicious!
My original plan was to eat on our back deck, but with the temperature so high, we stayed inside for dinner. I rounded out the meal with small red potatoes I cooked in my slow cooker and fresh steamed green beans. By the time dessert rolled around, we decided to venture outside. It had cooled down a bit; we’re fortunate our deck is in the shade most of the afternoon and evening. I served one of my son’s (and husband’s) favorite desserts: Easy Strawberry Shortcake Trifle from I Heart Naptime. This recipe uses real whipped cream, which is so easy to pull together and a bazillion times tastier than anything from a tub or a can! Best of all … no oven required!
Easy Bruschetta Chicken
- 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 T olive oil
- 1 T balsamic vinegar
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t fresh ground pepper
- 2 T Parmesan cheese
- 5-6 ripe, plum tomatoes
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 t balsamic vinegar
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t fresh ground pepper
- 6-8 basil leaves, sliced
- In a resealable plastic bag, combine the chicken, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Massage marinade into chicken and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
- Heat grill to medium. Cook chicken breasts 5 minutes. Flip. Cook another 5 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Remove from grill, tent with foil and let stand 5 minutes.
- In a medium sauce pan, boil 2 quarts of water. Cut a shallow "X" on the underside of each tomato. Add to boiling water and blanch for 1 minute.
- Remove tomatoes from water; skin should easily peel off the tomatoes.
- Discard skin and remove the seeds; gently squeeze tomatoes to remove most of the juice.
- Chop tomatoes and add olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and basil. Stir gently.
- After the chicken rests, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Top each chicken breasts with the bruschetta topping and serve.