Well hello there!
I haven’t done a great job of taking pictures of meals this week (minus my picnic!), so rather than show a day of eats, I’m sharing a yummy recipe I’ve been holding back from you guys. This is much better, in my opinion..
While I love to cook and create foods within my own kitchen confines, I hate the thought of a million ingredients, or hours of clean up and waiting. Obviously, considering I usually gravitate towards the meals I can make in 30 minutes or less. I’m a big fan of leftovers for that reason.
My main requirement was an entree that needed only one dish – for both preparation and cooking. Also, prep and clean up must also be minimal. And I required something with protein that would keep me full. These wishes came true with this baked chicken dish.
We’ve had frozen chicken just sitting in our freezer for months. Partly because we’ve been eating more chicken sausage, tempeh and bean dishes, but I still love a good chicken breast. Especially when it’s got fresh mozzerella cheese and seasoning. You just layer some tomatoes, cheese and spices, and bake. Easy enough for a busy weeknight, or sprucing it up for a fancy weekend dinner with a nice bottle of chardonnay (hint…Ed?)
The product is hearty, yet delicate. It’s flavorful enough on its own, but it’s versatile over pasta, brown rice, or a salad, or paired with sweet potato fries and veggies.
Chicken can actually be difficult to perfect – you don’t want it to be overcooked and turn chewy, yet you have to make sure it is cooked enough internally for food safety reasons. Ain’t no one got time for salmonella.
Speaking of food safety, it’s always best to thaw meats overnight in the fridge, and make sure they are near the bottom of the refrigerator. If this is not an option, the next best thing is to thaw it under running COLD water (not warm) because cold water slows bacteria that may be growing. It is also safe to thaw in the microwave. If you do this, though, make sure to cook it right away. It is not safe to leave them out on the counter in room temperature to thaw, thaw them outside or under warm water.
Back to this recipe, it’s juicy and tender just like you want your baked chicken to taste. And when the cheese melts over the tomatoes, you get this feeling of love on your tastebuds.
I like to top it with even more cheese and tomatoes, because we all need more lycopene, an antioxidant that may have some cancer-fighting properties!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp basil
- 2 small roma tomatoes (or ½ can of canned tomatoes)
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
- Preheat oven to 400. Coat baking pan (I used a pyrex) with olive oil and place chicken breasts on top.
- Mix your spices, and top the chicken with with ½ the spice mixture. Then top with sliced roma tomatoes, cheese, and the other half of the spice mixture.
- Bake for 35-40 min or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
You could easily double or triple this recipe for meal planning purposes and to save some leftovers for the week, and then just reheat as needed when ready to enjoy.
Pin it for later!
What’s your favorite way to cook chicken – fried, grilled, baked, stuffed, pan-seared?
Do you have any good one-pan dish recipes?