Thursday, April 23, 2015

Bruschetta Baked Chicken

Bruschetta.  It's one of those things that's so incredibly simple but so amazing.  It's fresh, packed full of flavor and well, spoon some of it on a lightly toasted baguette and good grief.  It's darn right delicious.

Any time I come across the stuff, I must have it.  I mean, I could honestly eat my weight in the stuff and not feel one ounce of guilt.
While I love it on a simple piece of bread, because what's not to love.  Carbs topped with juicy tomatoes and basil.  I'm certainly not apposed to trying it on other things.  Like say, crispy, parmesan encrusted chicken!

And that's what I've done here.  Coated chicken in a breadcrumb parmesan mixture and baked it.  Placed it on a bed of pasta and topped it with the bright, fresh bruschetta.  This meal was nothing short of amazing.
It's an easy meal to throw together, which means it's perfect for a weeknight.  It's light and refreshing, and honestly aside from it being dipped in butter before coating it's a pretty healthy meal especially if you use wheat pasta.
This is a crowd pleaser for my entire family.  Even Tucker scarfed it up before I even had the chance to ask what he thought.  My only regret, that I didn't make more bruschetta because I had to practice restraint to ensure there was enough to top everyone's chicken.
This meal was perfect.  One of those that fills you up but doesn't leave you weighed down once you're finished.  Making it ideal for spring and summer.  I can't wait to make this again, and hopefully with tomatoes from our garden!  

Bruschetta Baked Chicken

3/4 Pound angel hair pasta
1 1/2 Pounds chicken tenders
1 Cup Italian bread crumbs
3/4 Cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 Tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 Cup butter, melted

For the bruschetta:
5 Medium tomatoes, diced
1 Small clove garlic, grated
20 basil leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, optional


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt liberally and cook pasta according to package instructions until al dente.  Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray a 9x13 glass pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Combine the bread crumbs, cheeses, garlic powder and salt and pepper in a shallow dish.  Whisk to combine and set aside.

Rinse and dry the chicken well.

Dip the chicken in the melted butter, then transfer to the bread crumb mixture and coat.  Place in the prepared pan.  Repeat with remaining chicken.  Place the chicken in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until cooked through and golden brown. (I turned the broiler on the last 2-3 minutes of cooking to get the coating crispy, this step is completely optional)

While the chicken is cooking, make the bruschetta.

Combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a medium bowl and stir to combine.  Taste, adjust seasonings if necessary.  Place in the refrigerator until the chicken is ready.

To assemble-
Place the pasta on a plate, top with chicken and then bruschetta.  Serve.

Recipe source: barely adapted from Lauren's Latest

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