I have a penchant for wanting to combine flavors and concepts and doing something whimsical sometimes, and that's what leads me to the creation of most of my recipes. I see something I like, and I twist it, turn it, reshape it, recreate it. It's apparently in my nature. Sure, I could just do a recipe as it's intended, but why do that. We are all individual, and I, for some reason, have the need to show my individuality in the kitchen. It is truly my most favorite room in the house. Unless it's Wednesday night and Survivor is on. Then my favorite room is the living room.
I remember the first time I had bruschetta. I don't remember what restaurant I was at, but I sure do remember the bright, tart taste of the tomatoes. I remember the herby, fresh taste of the basil. I remember the slightly spicy garlic. I remember the gooeyness of the melted Mozzarella. (Gooeyness is too a word. I looked it up.) With the crunch of the bread, the flavor was bomb diggity. Did you know there's a restaurant in Riverton, Utah named Bombdiggitys? Thanks, Google.
Sorry, got distracted. Back to the bruschetta. You know, I never even liked raw tomatoes until I ate that bruschetta. But I do now. So how do I create this beautiful bruschetta into a meal? Put it on top of chicken! That seems to be a favorite of mine as well as my family's. From the tender, juicy chicken to the crunch of croutons on the top, it's a crowd pleaser. And, of course, what would it be without a cream sauce like mine over the top? Not nearly as good as this one.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Seasoned salt, like Lawry's
Garlic powder, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 small package basil leaves
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
8 slices of Mozzarella (off of a block), 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, depending on your preference
2 shallots, chopped
1 1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 C white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C flour
Croutons, any flavor, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the chicken breasts on a sheet pan. Sprinkle the seasoned salt, black pepper, and garlic powder on both sides of the chicken. Cook for 16 minutes, then flip them over and cook an additional 12-16 minutes until done at an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Meanwhile, for the sauce, drizzle some olive oil into a skillet and cook the shallots over medium high heat until tender. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Cook for a couple of minutes to reduce. Quickly whisk in the flour. Whisk in the cream and garlic and cook until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
To assemble the chicken, lay one to two leaves of basil over each piece of chicken. Pile the tomatoes on top of each piece of chicken. Lay two slices of Mozzarella over the chicken and secure with toothpicks so the cheese doesn't slide off. Cook under the broiler, watching carefully, until the cheese is melted and browned. Serve with the cream sauce over the top and garnish with croutons.