Getting married changes you for the better in so many ways. And the one I’m probably most thankful for is Connor calling bullshit when I tell him I don’t like certain foods.
In the past five years we’ve been together, he’s convinced me to try and like orange juice, Swiss cheese (Rubens are practically my favorite food, so this one still baffles me) and beef. Right? Who doesn’t love a good steak? This girl. Until I met the South Dakota man of my dreams, that is.
Another food I’ve unfairly hated since childhood? Tomatoes.
Fast-forward to the summer of 2015. I remember being at a business dinner and feeling the pressure to not be the “picky millennial” and therefore ate copious amounts of caprese salad.
Now tomatoes are a staple in every trip to the grocery store – and the foundation of my favorite go-to meal. Connor and I made this for my parents the last time we were both home and my veggie-loving father (sarcasm) ate all of it. Plus seconds. Basically, this dish is safe to feed to 5-year-olds. Or just those with the pallet of one.
Skillet Chicken Caprese
Makes: 2 Servings; 4 with pasta
Prep: 5-10 Minutes
Total: 30 Minutes
- 1lb chicken breasts
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 2 tsp (or more, your choice) minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1.5-2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 tomato, sliced
- Balsamic vinegar
- Fresh basil leaves
- Log fresh mozzarella
Here’s what you do:
- Heat the coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
- Slice your chicken breast in half (to thin each breast).
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook each side for a few minutes until no longer pink. Remove from skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add garlic, balsamic vinegar and tomatoes. Cook until garlic is fragrant and balsamic vinegar reduces slightly.
- Add in basil and let cook for 1-2 more minutes. Turn on your oven broiler.
- Place chicken back in skillet. Top with slices of tomato and mozzarella.
- Heat under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until cheese has melted and browned slightly. Note: If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, first go out and buy one. In the meantime, you can make this in a normal skillet just skip the broiler. Instead, turn down the heat to medium and cover. This should help the cheese melt quicker.
- Add additional basil and balsamic vinegar as needed.
Okay, once you cook this a few times it’s basically robotic. And beyond burning it, there’s really no way to mess it up. There’s usually a bunch of the ingredients leftover (which, this broke girl loves) and they’re really easy to convert into other meals:
Caprese Salad: In a mason jar add items in this order – tomatoes, chopped mozzarella, (chicken is desired), basil and lettuce. Serve with Newman’s Own Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Flatbread: Cook chicken in oregano and Italian seasoning. Using a thin pizza crust, top with marinara, tomato slices, basil and mozzarella. Cook using instructions on pizza crust container. While the pizza is cooking, mix 1 cup balsamic with ¼ cup honey and cook over high heat on the stove until boiling. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until mixture is reduced to about ⅓ cup (about 10 min). Drizzle this liquid (black) gold over pizza and be prepared to have your life changed.