I have always loved the classic combination of fresh basil, ripe tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella cheese, which goes wonderfully with chicken. This entrée is easy to put together, and tastes great.
The recipe below is intended to feed two hungry people, with some food leftover.
Seared Chicken Breast with Basil, Cherry Tomatoes, Sauteed Onions, and Mozzarella Cheese
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 1-2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp salted butter, for basting chicken
- ¼ cup white wine, for deglazing pan
- 1 Tbsp salted butter, for cooking onion
- 1 white onion, medium dice
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- Kosher salt & freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup fresh Mozzarella balls, torn in half, as garnish
- 8-12 large fresh basil leaves, finely sliced, as garnish
- ½ scallion, finely sliced, as garnish
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, as garnish
- Salt the chicken breasts gently on all sides with some kosher salt.
- Place the chicken breasts in the fridge on a wire rack on a sheet tray overnight.
- The following day, before you are ready to start cooking your chicken breasts, remove them from the fridge and allow them to rest at room temperature for one hour.
- When your chicken breasts are closer to room temperature and have relaxed, turn on your large saute pan.
- When the saute pan is hot, but before it is smoking, add your 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil.
- Quickly pat the exterior of the chicken breasts dry with paper towels.
- When the oil is hot, carefully add the chicken breasts into the saute pan.
- *Try to add the chicken breasts skin-side down, if your breasts have skin.
- Cook the chicken breasts on medium to medium-high heat until the first side is golden brown.
- When the first side is golden-brown to your liking, turn the chicken breasts and cook the other side.
- Add 2 Tbsp of salted butter to the pan, and quickly use a spoon to baste the butter over the top of the chicken as it finishes cooking.
- *It is easier to butter baste if you angle the saute pan towards yourself while you are carefully basting. This allows the butter to drain down to the bottom of the pan after it runs over the top of the chicken, which makes it easier to scoop up and continue basting. Be careful here!
- When your chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan and set it on a plate to rest.
- *If you are using a meat thermometer, I like to cook my chicken to 160-162F and allow it to rest at room temperature. Food safety guidelines would advise you to shoot for 165F for chicken protein.
- Add ¼ cup of white wine to the saute pan, and use a wooden spatula to remove the browned bits of fond that are stuck to the pan.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbsp of salted butter to the saute pan.
- Add the diced white onion to the saute pan.
- Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the onions are soft and tender and the white wine has completely cooked away.
- Add the halved cherry tomatoes, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Season with Kosher salt & freshly-ground black pepper, and remove from the heat.
- When you are ready to serve, serve a scoop of onions and tomatoes alongside the sauteed chicken breasts.
- Top with torn Mozzarella balls and finely-sliced fresh basil and scallions.
- Drizzle some olive oil over the dishes before serving.