When serving this griddle-seared chicken breasts with a traditional caprese salad, use marinated mozzarella balls and dress the salad with some of the oil from the container.
This recipe by JeanMarie Brownson appeared in the Chicago Tribune.
- 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, total 2 ½ pounds
- 1 container (16 ounces) celigene mozzarella balls, drained
- 2 to 3 Cups cored, seeded, diced ripe tomatoes
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Safflower, sunflower or expeller-pressed canola oil
- 1/2 Cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
- Fresh herb sprigs
Pat chicken dry.
Remove the chicken tenders from the underside of the breasts and save for another use.
Place one breast half on the cutting board.
Using a very sharp knife, butterfly the chicken as follows: Starting at the thickest side, slice the chicken horizontally in half cutting nearly three-fourths of the way through to the other side. Open the chicken like a book (or a butterfly); cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Pound until a uniform ½ inch thick. Cut in half if desired. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
Season chicken generously with salt. (If working ahead, refrigerate loosely covered up to a day.)
Otherwise, leave on the counter in a cool kitchen for up to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice mozzarella balls in half.
Put into a bowl.
Add tomatoes, chives and 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick griddle (or large skillet) over high heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact.
Turn on the exhaust fan.
Reduce heat under the griddle to medium-high.
Add a light coating of safflower oil then immediately add the chicken in a single, uncrowded layer. (Work in batches if necessary.)
Cook, without turning, until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
Flip chicken; cook second side until golden, about 3 minutes more.
Transfer chicken to a platter.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Repeat to cook remaining chicken.
Stir basil into tomato mixture, then spoon mixture over chicken.
Sprinkle with Parmesan and garnish with herb sprigs.