Bruschetta Baked Three Cheese Chicken
Sometimes, when the world seems really messed up, cooking just seems to ground me. It allows me to focus on something positive and enjoyable rather than wondering where the heck this world is going! Sharing that food with family and friends and sharing some laughs helps me to remember that life is good. Bruschetta Baked Three Cheese Chicken is a good meal to share with friends along with a nice glass of wine.
As much as I like to cook, one of the things I really strive for is to use my food more than once. I am not so much in love with simply reheating leftovers and having the same meal again though…. This recipe is one that I developed one day after I had made a large batch of bruschetta for a crowd and had lots leftover. This weekend, my husband and I had bruschetta as an appetizer before Friday’s steak and sweet potato gnocchi dinner and had some bruschetta and gnocchi left over even though both were delicious. Shout out to Tasting Table for the recipe for the sweet potato gnocchi. I did use about 1/4 cup less flour than the recipe suggested and it was light and pillowy and yummy! I immediately thought of using both the bruschetta and the gnocchi for Saturday’s dinner with some friends. So last night’s dinner was Bruschetta Baked Three Cheese Chicken with Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Sage and Thyme Brown Butter with Mike’s yummy salad (more on that one in future — might be the subject of another guest blog!) Yum!
I always think that the bruschetta tastes better the second day. The flavours always intensify and meld together. It does get juicier though as the tomatoes sit so the texture changes making it ideal to use on top of the chicken.
I begin by putting my oven to 350 and prepping my baking pan so it is ready to go once I need it. I think you should always read a new recipe from start to finish before beginning to cook. The other thing to keep in mind is that when you read the recipe, note the description of the ingredient. Before you even start on the method, make sure your ingredients are prepped according to the ingredient list. If the recipe calls for one medium onion chopped, do the chopping before you get into the method steps. Put all your ingredients out prepped so that once you start, things go more smoothly and you aren’t running around like a maniac looking for ingredients and then realizing that you have grate a block of cheese to add to the sauce that is now burning on the stove! Another tip about reading recipes is that “one cup of flour, sifted” is different than “one cup of sifted flour”. In the first description, you measure the flour and then sift it and in the second example, you sift the flour and then measure a cup of it. Anyways, onto this meal…..
I usually estimate about 6 ounces of chicken per person because with the cheese, it does become quite a rich dish. I take the chicken breast and slice it so that I get two thinner pieces of chicken breast. Here is the original chicken breast.
And here is the chicken after I sliced it.
I like to tenderize the breast meat a little bit so I put the meat on some parchment paper and fold the paper over and pound the meat a bit with a meat tenderizer.
The next step is combine the ingredients to dredge the chicken in. I used potato starch, granulated garlic, oregano and salt and pepper. I dredge it because I like the way it crisps up when I sear it. You could use flour or corn starch to dredge in if that is what you have. I try to avoid flour for a couple of reasons. One reason is that it keeps the chicken gluten free for my friends who want to avoid gluten and another reason is that potato starch is WAAAAYYYYY easier to clean up than flour. It dissolves in water instead of becoming that goopy, gummy irritating mess that flour becomes when you try to clean it with water.
Mix the dredge ingredients really thoroughly so that the flavour is the same throughout. You can put the dredge on a plate but I like to use a baking pan so that I can mix the ingredients and dredge the chicken in the same dish. I always make a big mess if I try to mix the ingredients on a plate. Take each piece of chicken and place it in the dredge to lightly coat it with the mixture. You don’t need much, just a light coating will do it.
Next step is where the magic happens….. Get a nice heavy bottomed saute pan and get it nice and hot. Add some cooking oil with a higher smoke point like canola or peanut. Once the oil is shimmery, (I think that is a word — lets say it is) add the chicken and sear both sides. It will likely take 2 to 3 minutes a side. Make sure you do not put too many pieces in at once or you will lower the temperature of your pan and you won’t get a nice sear. Work in batches until you have seared off all of chicken.
Put all the chicken in your baking pan and then layer on the bruschetta.
Finally, sprinkle the cheese on and finish with a bit of sea salt. Throw it in your hot oven to bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is nicely browned slightly. If you leave off the cheese, this is a paleo dish.
Bruschetta Baked Three Cheese Chicken
This is a creative spin on Chicken Parmesan which uses leftover bruschetta in place of tomato sauce.
- 4 chicken breast
- 1/3 c potato starch
- 1 tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp pepper to taste
- 1/4 c oil peanut or canola for ex. higher smoke point desired
- 2 c bruschetta link to recipe in blog post above
- 1 c grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 c grated pecorino cheese
- 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
Begin by setting your oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking pan with parchment paper for easy clean up.
Next, take your chicken breasts and slice them as shown in the photos above. Be careful that you cut the breast so that there is a solid piece of meat in both halves.
Take a large sheet of parchment paper and place each half of the breast on the paper and then fold it over so you can pound the meat slightly to tenderize it a bit with a meat tenderizer.
Once all of the meat is pounded, mix together your dredge which is the potato starch, granulated garlic, salt, pepper and oregano. Make sure it is mixed thoroughly.
Lightly dredge each half breast in the dredge mixture and set aside on a plate.
Heat a heavy bottomed saute pan on your stove and add a cooking fat with a higher smoke point so you can get the pan nice and hot. Once the fat is shimmery, sear off each piece of chicken breast for about two minutes a side or until it has a nice sear on it. Time will be dependent on how hot your pan starts and stays. Make sure you don't crowd your pan or you won't get a nice sear.
Once you have a nice sear on each piece of meat, place them in your baking pan and top them with the bruschetta.
Then, mix the three cheeses well and finish by sprinkling the cheese over the bruschetta layer and adding a spritz of sea salt.
Bake uncovered for 25 - 30 minutes. If it looks like it is browning too quickly, cover with tinfoil.