If any of you are as naive as I am, I was a little confused when I saw margherita when I spotted this gem. My non-drinking-because-I'm-thoroughly-Mormon self went straight to thinking this was a margarita-infused dish, and thus ending my desire to try it. I mean, unless it was virgin (which I have had, and fell in love with completely). Then I looked through the ingredients, and realized the embarrassing size of my blonde moment (margarita vs margherita), and quickly fell in love with the fresh ingredients this recipe uses. I made it only a couple days later.
Don't make my same mistake.
I mean, yikes.
And they pay me to have a food blog.
At least I can blame it on my Blondie title, eh?
This recipe quickly uses up those juicy tomatoes that should be flying out of the garden by now. The fresher, the better, here. I breaded and baked my chicken as I usually do, layering the chicken with three coats of awesomeness: 1) flour, 2) whisked egg + a splash of water, 3) a mixture of Panko and Italian bread crumbs. Sometimes I put in a little parmesan cheese, but since we were slathering on a giant slice of mozzarella, I thought we'd at least try to not overdose on dairy.
Maybe try just a little.
After all, cheese is probably what a majority of our grocery bill goes towards.
This chicken was DYNAMITE. The juicy chicken was coated in my favorite breading ingredients, lightly fried in some oil, baked to perfection in the oven, coated in a blanket of creamy milky mozzarella, and then topped with juicy tomatoes and onions. I probably could have chopped the red onions a little smaller, but we are red-onion lovers, so the bite didn't bother us one bit. The fresh basil is a MUST. It makes this dish so amazing! When serving this beauty, don't be stingy when topping the chicken. Slather the thing with the tomato mixture. It's gold. After all, the goal at dinnertime is to slather on as much of that garden goodness as much we can on each and every dinner plate! Enjoy!
Breaded Margherita Chicken
makes 4 servings
3 large garden plum tomatoes, diced
3 T chopped fresh basil
1/4 C chopped red onion
4 T EVOO, divided
1 T balsamic vinegar
heavy pinch of salt and pepper
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced to make 4 thin pieces
2 eggs lightly beaten + splash of water
1 C Panko bread crumbs
1/2 C Italian bread crumbs
1 C flour
6oz fresh mozzarella, sliced into thin slices
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Make the tomato topping: in a medium bowl, toss together the tomatoes, basil, red onion, vinegar and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
3. Place the rest of the olive oil in a saute pan and heat over medium heat while preparing the breaded chicken.
4. Prepare three bowls. 1) flour. 2) egg mixture. 3) Panko + Italian breadcrumbs.
5. Season chicken with salt, then working in batches of one, using one hand for wet ingredients and one hand for dry ingredients, dunk the chicken in the flour, switch hands, dunk the chicken in the eggs, switch back to dry hand, then dunk chicken in bread crumbs. Place into the hot oil, and repeat with the remaining chicken. Keep an eye on the cooking chicken - rotate when golden. When the chicken has been browned/cooked on all sides, place onto the baking sheet.
6. Bake the chicken until they register 165 on a meat thermometer, about 15 minutes depending on thickness. Remove from the oven, lay mozzarella slices on chicken. Place back into the oven for 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melty and bubbly. Remove from the oven.
7. Place about 4 tablespoons of the tomato mixture on each chicken breast. Serve hot with buttered pasta or steamed garden veggies.
Recipe adapted form: Taste and Tell