Lazy Chicken Caprese; And It’s Gluten-Free

When the weekend comes, who feels like cooking? Maybe you are like me, and start out with the best intentions. But, after some chores, errands, and exercising, cooking dinner is the last thing you feel like doing.

Welcome to lazy cooking 101. I try to make my meals as simple and delicious as possible. Anything that I can make ahead is a plus. Anything I can make in the oven or on the grill is preferable. If it’s gluten-free, I feel like I hit the jackpot!

Tonight, we’re having a favorite: chicken Caprese. I’ve already made it (it’s noon, now), I did it completely in the oven, and kept it gluten-free. By baking it first at high heat, and then reducing the heat to finish, you avoid the skillet frying step (and avoid a lot of mess). Enjoy!

Note: the veggie recipe is from a previous post.

Lazy Chicken Caprese (Gluten-Free)

 

Ingredients:

3-4 chicken breast halves

5 cloves garlic, or 1 Tbs. crushed garlic

1/2 lemon

1/4 c. olive oil + 2 Tbs. for baking

salt and pepper

1 sliced tomato

balsamic vinegar

4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese

pesto or fresh basil leaves

2 c. crushed tortilla chips

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

 

Method:

Mix olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and some salt and pepper in a glass dish. Use a sharp knife to carefully slice a pocket into each chicken breast. Add the chicken breasts to the marinade, and toss to coat. Set aside.

gluten-free chicken caprese

gluten-free chicken Caprese

Slice the tomato in a small bowl, add some salt and pepper, and drizzle balsamic vinegar over the slices. Set aside.

balsamic marinade for tomatoes

balsamic marinade for tomatoes

While these two dishes are marinating, prepare the tortilla chip coating by crushing the tortilla chips in a zippered bag until crumbly. Add Parmesan cheese, dried basil, and dried oregano to the bag and mix well.

gluten-free tortilla crumbs

gluten-free tortilla crumbs

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Add the remaining olive oil and use a pastry brush to coat the foil evenly.

After 30-45 minutes marinating, put the chicken breasts into the zippered bag, seal, and shake to coat.

Remove the breasts to the prepared baking sheet. Open each breast pocket and slide in some pesto or basil leaves, a slice of marinated tomato, and a slice of mozzarella. Use 2 toothpicks per breast to hold the pockets closed.

Bake the stuffed breasts at 425°F for 10 minutes. Then, turn the heat down to 350°F for an additional 15-20 minutes, until juices run clear. If you want the top more toasty, turn on the broiler briefly, keeping a watch on the browning.

Let chicken sit a few minutes so that juices and cheeses set. Remove toothpicks before serving.

If you are making ahead, you can reheat in a 350°F oven, or simply bring to room temperature and serve. Delicious!

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