Summer is the season for tomatoes and basil and caprese everything! While we are heading into fall here, my basil plants growing out on my deck are still doing well, though I think this meal will probably be the last harvest I get from them.
Chicken breasts these days seem obscenely large. If you’re using gigantic ones, half is certainly enough for a serving.
Time: 30 min or less
You will need:
- 1C red quinoa
- 2C chicken or vegetable broth or bouillon
- 2 large chicken breasts, halved, or 4 small chicken breasts
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 3C cherry tomatoes halved
- 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
- 1/2- 3/4C balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 4 generous slices of mozzarella
Thoroughly rinse quinoa and add to a medium pot with 2 cups of the broth of your choice. While quinoa is regularly touted as a super food, it’s also super bland, so don’t just cook it in water! Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. It will take about 20 min to cook. Stir occasionally. It’s finished when all liquid is absorbed.
If your chicken breasts are quite large, hold flat on a cutting board with your non-knife hand. Using a sharp knife, slice horizontally into two even pieces.
Place chicken breasts in a large frying or sauce pan that you have a lid for. If you don’t have one with a lid, you can probably cheat and place a dinner plate over top. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat 6-7 minutes on each side until cooked through, then remove from pan.
While chicken is cooking, halve cherry tomatoes. After chicken has been removed from pan, add the cherry tomatoes. Cook for 2 minutes until tomatoes have just begun to soften. Add the 1/4 C chopped fresh basil, 3 cloves of minced garlic, and 3/4C balsamic. Stir for an addition 1-2 minutes.
Add the chicken breasts back to pan, and place mozzarella on top. Cover pan with lid or plate for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted.
Divide quinoa between 4 plates. Top each with a generous amount of tomatoes and sauce and then with one of the cheesy chicken breasts. Top with additional basil for garnish if desired.