My wife wanted me to make chicken caprese, but I didn’t have any cherry tomatoes, fresh basil or provolone cheese. Since we’re limiting our trips to the store to only if it is absolutely necessary I wasn’t running to the store to get some. I had the chicken, balsamic vinegar, and garlic so I had to decide on what to make. I did what I normally do, tear the caprese recipe down to the bassics of what it is. Simply it is chicken with tomatoes in a sauce made with balsamic vinegar and garlic with melted cheese on top. So what did I have that would meet that basic recipe. Still had some frozen diced tomatoes, if I thawed them and drained them they would substitute for cherry tomatoes. Dry basil I have lots, so if I put some in a little olive oil for and hour I could use it. Adding it to the olive oil softens the taste and brings the flavour out. That left replacing the provolone cheese, that’s the simplest part just use mozzarella. What I ended up with wasn’t really chicken caprese but was something similar, just as good but different. It’s really a simple thing adapt and overcome, just one more way to not let covid 19 win. I may not be running to the store all the time, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a good meal. If you break any recipe down to the basics of it is you can build it back up using what you have. Just don’t throw your hands in the air and say I can’t make that, think of a solution.
2 flattened chicken breasts
1 and 1/2 cups drained diced tomatoes
1 and 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
5 cloves garlic minced
1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon olive oil plus a 1/4 teaspoon for the basil
4 slices mozzarella cheese ( this is a tricky one, depending on the size of your slices you may need more. You want enough to cover each chicken breast )
Mix basil with 1/4 teaspoon olive oil and set aside for at least an hour.
Preheat a frying pan with oil on medium heat. Salt and pepper chicken breasts and add to the pan, cover and cook for approximately 6 minutes per side, remove from pan to a plate. Add balsamic vinegar and garlic to the pan, cook until balsamic vinegar is reduced to 1/3. Add the diced tomatoes and basil, cook for 2 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pan, turn the chicken breasts in the pan. Top with mozzarella cheese, cover tightly, serve when cheese has melted, about 2-3 minutes.