Mannnn, it has been a culinary whirlwind around here the past couple of weeks, you guys!!
I am currently taking a break from the book writing, and because I can’t just sit idle for a bit, I’ve been killing it in the kitchen, on the treadmill and the yoga mat, and life in general has been on the upswing for all of 2019.
I’m really tuning into my creative nature and how it peaks and plummets. It has a lot to do with the moon, the monthly cycles, etc. so I won’t pull you too deep into all that here, but it’s pretty amazing how much more we can produce when we recognize those energetic ebbs and flows, highs and lows.
In March, my Mr. Wonderful was laid off his job after 20 years, and it kind of shook up the routine around here. I was able to really focus on the yoga practice and writing my book, while he happily went about cooking his ass off to allow me that block of time to do what I needed to do. I got to sleep later than usual, spend hours in my sacred space, and boy have I read some books over the Summer!!
I have to be honest; I got a bit lazy and way too far off my somewhat rigid day and night routines. I’m glad to now be finding my way back to structured days where he goes to work, and I play housewife from 7:22AM until around 2PM when I start my work night prep. I only work my job a few hours a night, so my days are free for dogs and blogs, writing, exercise, and creating a cozy home environment around here. I love it all!!
Somehow we have evolved our food situation to where he buys a bunch of meat on Saturday, and we plan meals around what he buys, then I shop for the rest of the ingredients on Sunday, which is my only day off many weeks. It works for us.
Sunday dinner is really important to me. I’m pretty sure that unless I was in my mess, I’ve always tried to have one day of the week designated for family dinner at the table, but Sundays off work and a big meal with my people has always been the ideal life for me. I’m grateful to finally be living that part of the dream.
I can’t tell you what inspired this dish. I love Caprese salad, and the man brought home some nice chicken boobs, so I figured a little Hasselback something would be a fun project. Plus I was craving pasta, we had some nice basil that needed to be picked and used, so those things probably led me to this end.
I made a balsamic marinade, and the rest is history.
Isn’t this beautiful?
It’s far less complicated than it probably looks. I mean, the worst part was stuffing the slices while the chicken was only half done, but it worked. It worked because I keep blue nitrile gloves in the kitchen. Without them, this recipe would be super gross, so be sure you have culinary gloves on hand before you start this recipe.
I made this in one cast iron skillet, then served it up with some angel hair pasta nests tossed in butter, garlic, salt and pepper, and I made a sautéed vegetable blend that included eggplant, grape tomatoes and onion. It was absolutely perfect. Simple, a little rustic, and absolutely stunning to plate.
Wanna make your own?
Let’s get after it.
What You Need:
2 large chicken breasts
2 Tbsp olive oil for cooking
2 Roma tomatoes
1 log fresh mozzarella
8 large basil leaves
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
What You Do:
Rinse and dry the chicken breasts, then place in a gallon zip bag.
In a medium bowl, add all marinade ingredients and whisk well.
Pour this into the bag of chicken and allow to rest in refrigerator for up to an hour.
Prep the tomatoes and mozzarella by slicing into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. I went thick because I wanted to use everything I had.
When chicken is well marinated, heat oven to 375°.
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet on med high.
Once oil is hot, carefully add chicken breasts and cook 8 minutes each side.
Allow chicken to cool a bit, then score the top, but avoid cutting all the way through.
Now get your gloves on and place a slice of each tomato and mozzarella, and a basil leaf. You have to really work them in, and the cheese will get a little smashed, but it doesn’t matter.
Once they are both stuffed, place the entire skillet into the preheated oven and bake about 25 minutes.
Some cheese will escape, which is why I opted to do the stove-top to oven method in one skillet rather than transfer. Plus, all the juices from cooking the chicken are still in there, and will create a pan sauce with a hint of balsamic from the marinade.
While the chicken is in the oven, go ahead and make your sides.
When chicken is done cooking, let it rest about 10 minutes so you don’t lose all the cheese when plating.
Drizzle with balsamic glaze to make it pretty and add some zing. I buy a bottled glaze, but feel free to make a reduction if that’s your thing.
Serve that ish up, and enjoy!!
This dish was fun and absolutely delicious. It inspired a lot of “whoa” around the table too!
I hope your family and friends enjoy it as much as mine did.
I’ll see you next week with another bad ass recipe from my kitchen.
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Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission by the owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts or links may be used, provided that full credit is given to M.L. Clement or cHELLe ON WHEELS, LLC. with appropriate and specific direction to original content. In other words; if you steal my shit, I’ll call you out.