Do any of you have specific ingredients that often predict what you will be making/eating? Those items that you cannot get enough of and automatically make an item included in your dinner or menu plans?
I have several – kalamata olives, caramel, roasted red peppers, butterscotch chips. I could give a few more, but as you may have guessed balsamic vinegar is pretty high on my list. Enter this smothered chicken recipe by Iowa Girl Eats. Truthfully, this has another ingredient both the hubbs and I cannot get enough of – tomato, basil, and garlic bruschetta from Trader Joes. They sell both a fresh and canned version, and both are awesome. We end up eating this bruschetta topping on toasted baguette slices at least once a week. Not kidding. Layer those with some avocado, chicken, and mozzarella cheese and you have this recipe.
The recipe itself is pretty simple. If you have never reduced balsamic vinegar, it is possible to burn it. The recipe states it takes about 20 minutes, but you probably should keep and eye on it and stir it a few times during that down time (not that I would know anything about burning the vinegar). This can be done ahead of time, making the recipe a great choice for a busy night. I cooked my chicken breasts on a grill pan, although they could be prepared in anyway you would like. Now that it’s officially spring, I am thinking the outdoor grill would be nice. Layer the cooked chicken with your toppings, slide it under the broiler, and you’re ready to eat. Enjoy!
Balsamic Smothered Chicken and Spinach Salad
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
1 cup balsamic vingear
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded until even thickness
salt and pepper
1/2 cup tomato, basil, garlic bruschetta topping
1 avocado, sliced
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, fresh or grated will work fine
Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan then bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to simmer until the vinegar is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Place the oven rack in the top position. Preheat the oven to broil. Warm a grill pan and warm over medium-high heat. Brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the chicken breasts and cook until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle. Can also bake or grill the chicken breasts if desired.
Spray a small baking pan with nonstick spray. Add the chicken breasts to the dish. Spread the bruschetta topping over each chicken breast. Top with a few avocado slices and mozzarella cheese. Place the dish in the oven and broil for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Plate the chicken over a bread of spinach. Split any remaining avocado slices between the plates. Drizzle the chicken and spinach with the reduced balsamic vinegar and serve.