In the Kitchen

Parmesan-Crusted Bruschetta Chicken

This year I planted a garden for the first time! It’s the first year we have lived somewhere that had a backyard and enough space to warrant a garden (aside from last year when my son was born, but planting a garden wasn’t really the first thing that came to mind when we moved in 4 weeks before his due date!). Mind you, it wasn’t your average garden. It was a planter garden. In the spring I had fun researching and using planters to make a little garden, and I grew patio tomatoes, patio cucumbers, various sweet peppers and a bunch of herbs. Up until last week, the only thing I had used in my cooking were the herbs. Then overnight, a bunch of tomatoes ripened at the same time, and I knew I needed to use them up before they went bad. I considered freezing them or making salsa, but then I wouldn’t have enjoyed the freshness of them.

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Last week, I went to Toronto with my little guy and my sister to meet up with my aunt and grandmother who were visiting. We went to an Italian restaurant called Scaddabush, which I highly recommend. Everything I tried was absolutely delicious, and we had the table right in front of a huge window looking into the kitchen, where they were making fresh mozzarella cheese. One of the appetizers we ordered was bruschetta, and it inspired me to make my own bruschetta out of the tomatoes from my little patio garden. So, on Saturday, I set to work, starting with picking the tomatoes fresh off the plant. I knew I wanted to make bruschetta, but I also knew I didn’t want to just eat it on bread, because the bread isn’t “on plan” (I follow the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle about 90% of the time. You can find out more about it here: http://www.trimhealthymama.com). Anyways, I decided I would create my first recipe for this blog (as opposed to adapting it from someone else’s recipe or taking it from my mother’s kitchen), and the parmesan-crusted bruschetta chicken was born! I recommend making the bruschetta a few hours in advance in order to allow the flavours to meld together nicely, but it isn’t necessary.

Parmesan-Crusted Bruschetta Chicken

Serves 6 (½ breast each)

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For the bruschetta:

3 cups of diced tomatoes (remove seeds before dicing)
Handful of fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
2 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar (the older the better; I use 18 year old balsamic)
2 Tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper to tast

  • Cut tomatoes in half, and use a spoon to remove the seeds. Cut out the stem.
  • Dice tomatoes into quarter inch (or slightly smaller) pieces and put into bowl.

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  • Add the basil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and stir to combine

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  • Allow to sit for several hours, if possible, to let the flavours meld.

For the chicken:

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
¾ cup of grated fresh parmesan cheese
¾ cup of bread crumbs (or THM baking blend if you want to be “on plan”)
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
Handful of fresh basil, chopped
Salt
Pepper
3/4 cup butter, melted
¼ cup of crumbled feta cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Slice chicken breasts in half height-wise (so that you get 2 thinner breasts, but they stay the same length and width).
  • Mix parmesan cheese, bread crumbs/baking blend, garlic, basil, and your preferred amount of salt and pepper together in a bowl. The bowl should be wide and deep enough to put the chicken breasts in one at a time.

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  • Melt the butter, and dip each ½ breast in butter, then transfer to the breadcrumb/baking blend mixture and coat well.
  • Place the chicken on a baking pan covered in parchment paper. Don’t allow the chicken breasts to touch, if possible.

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  • Bake for 25-30 minutes (depending on thickness of pieces).
  • Remove from oven, and turn oven on broil.
  • When broiler is ready, put some of the bruschetta mixture on top of each chicken breast. I don’t recommend doing this too far in advance, as the juice of the tomatoes will make the chicken coating soggy. I used a slotted spoon to spoon the mixture onto the chicken so that I didn’t get too much juice.

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  • Top each breast with a sprinkle of feta cheese.
  • Broil for 1-2 minutes or until cheese starts to turn brown. Watch it very carefully, as it can burn quickly, and ensure the rack isn’t too high in the oven, or your parchment paper might almost catch on fire, like mine did 🙂

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Enjoy!

-Kendra

  1. Kendra's Mom

    August 12, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Looks yummy!!

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