Open-Faced Chicken Caprese

Open-Faced Chicken Caprese

There’s just something about pairing food with seasons. Pumpkins and fall. Winter and soup. They’re inseparable, like sweethearts through the ages that come round once a year. Spring and summer are all about freshness – berries, vegetables, herbs. But when its the thick of summer, there is absolutely nothing that beats a perfectly ripe tomato. Its like tasting what childhood summers felt like.

Adult summers, however, are a very different story. Sure, they still have that laid-back feel, but they’re nothing like the sweet, carefree summers from way back when. Work deadlines are entirely indifferent to the summer months, and the oppressive heat can be draining if your time is spent running errands rather than rolling in the grass. Add a city to the mix where the concrete seems to absorb and reflect every ounce of that heat back on you tenfold, and it can be downright ruinous. But those are the moments where I head to the farmer’s market near my building and hunt down a perfect carton of tomatoes. Suddenly theres a bright side, and I’m happy again.

Caprese is a go-to for me this time of the year. It gives summer tomatoes the perfect partners in crime — creamy mozzarella, fresh, fragrant basil, a little balsamic, and you have something magical in its simplicity. Its just one of those dishes that proves that real, whole foods can be perfect on their own.

A few nights ago, I was craving a caprese salad but wrestling with how to make a proper meal out of it. While I’m certainly not going to deny that I’ve eaten a giant bowl of the stuff and nothing else for dinner in the past (no shame), I decided to try topping some simple open-faced grilled chicken sandwiches with as much caprese as my heart desired – and as always, my heart desired a lot.

The result was wonderful – the sandwich was a perfect, hearty base for the fresh salad without stealing any of its thunder. I started with a knife and fork, but after one bite dove in with my hands. With fresh tomato juice running down my wrist, I devoured two piled-high slices and decided that adult summers can have some sweet, carefree moments of their own.

 

Open-Faced Chicken Caprese

PREP TIME: 10 mins (excluding marinating)  | COOK TIME: 30 mins | TOTAL: 40 minutes | YIELD: 2-4 servings

ingredients

Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2-4 chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste

caprese salad

  • 1 pint fresh tomatoes (any variety you like!)
  • 1 large bunch basil (about ¾ cup chopped, give or take)

sandwiches

  • 2-4 oz. mozzarella cheese (sliced or crumbled)
  • 4-6 slices of thick grain bread
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, oregano, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste in a shallow baking dish or zip-top bag. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade, turning to coat. Marinate for at least 1 hour.
  2. After its done marinating, grill the chicken on both sides until done. Allow chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing thinly. Set aside.
  3. Chop the tomatoes and basil. Mix together in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, slowly heat 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar until reduced by half (you’ll know its done when it coats the back of a spoon). Set aside.
  5. Slice the bread and drizzle with scant amount of olive oil. Place under broiler to toast slightly. Remove from broiler and cover with mozzarella cheese. Place back under broiler until the edges of the bread are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  6. Top sandwiches with sliced chicken and as much of the tomato and basil salad as you want! Drizzle with balsamic reduction to finish.

nutrition

Please note: this estimate is provided by an online nutrition calculator.
It should not be considered a substitute for a professional analysis or recommendation.
Nutrition Information
Servings: 2
Per Serving % Daily Value*
Calories 590
Total Fat 24.8g 32%
Saturated Fat 4.9g 25%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 90mg 33%
Sodium 525mg 23%
Potassium 938mg 20%
Total Carb 55.4g 18%
Dietary Fiber 8.6g 31%
Sugars 13.5g
Protein 40.5g
Vitamin A 63% · Vitamin C 45%
Calcium 24% · Iron 25%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet
Recipe analyzed by