Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breast with Balsamic Reduction

I am in love with Penzey's Mexican Vanilla, truly.  All of their vanilla is high quality, but of course I had to go and fall in love with the one variety you can't buy through their website!  Every time I get within driving distance of a Penzey's retail location I make sure to stock up.

This last December, while on our road trip, my sister-in-law and I made our Penzey's pilgrimage and she introduced me to the aptly placed store next door in Arlington, TX- Bella Vita Gourmet Olive Oil and Balsamics.

I never thought a store could be as dangerous to my pocket book as Penzey's- and I was wrong.  Oh, so wrong.

The small store was full of casks of olive oils and vinegars, most infused with amazing flavors.  I tried many and wanted to leave with all of them- not doing so took some serious self control.  I ended up leaving with a tangerine balsamic and a pear-cranberry white balsamic.  But oh, I wanted them all...

The two I purchased are amazing, and I'm using them sparingly to make them last (though the company does offer sales through their site, so I may have to restock before our next trip...).  I've used the tangerine balsamic on glazed salmon and the pear-cranberry in a vinaigrette so far, and I can't wait to play with them a  little more.

I've mentioned in the past that I'm a sucker for just about anything caprese, so for dinner the other night I decided to make a caprese stuffed chicken breast drizzled with a tangerine balsamic reduction.

Oh my...those flavors are so lovely together.  Melty fresh mozzarella, basil leaves, juicy tomatoes...yum.  Seriously about to drool just thinking about it!  Though you certainly don't need that amazing tangerine balsamic when making this, do make sure that you use a decent quality balsamic (as in one that you'd be happy dipping bread in taste-wise...).

Enjoy- the recipe is below and over at Allrecipes.com!

4 chicken breasts- flattened
8 oz mozarella, sliced
2 large roma tomatoes, sliced
1 C fresh basil leaves
1/2 C balsamic vinegar

For marinade:
1/4 C olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder

1. Mix together marinade ingredients.  Cover flattened chicken breasts with marinade and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

2. Heat balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan to a slow boil. Allow the vinegar to slow boil for 15 minutes. Watch carefully so as not to burn.  Cook until vinegar has reached half of original volume, allow to cool completely.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place 1/4 C basil leaves, 2 oz mozzarella, and 1/2 of a tomato on each piece of chicken. Roll chicken breast closed and secure with toothpicks or cooking twine. 

4. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in oven-safe skillet, add stuffed chicken breasts to pan. Sear on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place pan in oven and bake until internal temperature at thickest part of breast is 165 degrees, approximately 10 minutes.

5. Allow breasts to rest for 5 minutes, drizzle with balsamic reduction before serving.

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