Entegra Coach Kitchen: Grilled Chicken Caprese
One of the things I love most about RV life on the road, is visiting local farmer’s markets along our travels. I’ve lost count of how many farmer’s markets I’ve shopped at during the past three and a half years on the road. Suffice to say, I’ve purchased freshly harvested oysters at the Williamsburg, VA, farmer’s market and extra plump, sun-dried raisins at the farmer’s market in Napa, CA – as well as countless other local goodies along the way.
This summer, we are blessed with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables from farms in Michigan, where we are currently living. With local tomatoes just coming into their prime, I’m gearing up for months of prime tomato-eating, and all of the foods made with or enhanced by tomatoes. It’s only a matter of time before meal planning includes BLT sandwiches, gazpacho soup, ratatouille and Caprese salads.
What is Caprese Salad?
While all of these things taste best with fresh local tomatoes, nothing tastes quite like summer to me than a fresh Caprese salad! Imagine layers of juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes, topped with creamy mozzarella, a leaf or chiffonade of fresh basil, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and completed with a sprinkle of sea salt and cracked fresh pepper.
What Ways are There to Include Caprese Ingredients in Other Dishes?
Chances are, Caprese salad in this form isn’t new to you. And, if you love it as much as I do, you are always looking for reasons to serve it or ways to eat more of it! It is, of course, delicious on a sandwich and as a topping for a pizza or grilled chicken.
-Grill (propane or charcoal)
Ingredients per person:
· 4-6 Oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, pat dry and butterfly for even thickness
· ½ Tbs mayonnaise (optional)
· Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
· ½ Tbs basil pesto, prepared (see note)
· 2 - Slices fresh beefsteak tomato (or 4-5 slices Roma Tomato)
· 2 - Slices fresh mozzarella
· Fresh basil, chiffonade (optional)
1.Brush both sides of each chicken breast with ½ tablespoon of mayonnaise and season with salt and pepper.
2.Place on a medium-hot grill for 3-4 minutes.
3.Flip the chicken over on the grill and brush the cooked side with ½ tablespoon of basil pesto, top with sliced tomato, then sliced mozzarella.
4.Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes until the chicken has cooked through and the fresh mozzarella has melted over the top.
5.Serve immediately topped with fresh basil.
Note: It’s no problem if you don’t want to prepare basil pesto for this recipe. I love buying a big jar of Kirkland’s Signature Basil Pesto from Costco early in the summer. If you’ve never noticed or didn’t already know, they make this pesto using authentic Genovese Basil DOP.
What is Genovese Basil DOP?
Not all sparkling wine is Champagne, and it must come from the region of Champagne to be true Champagne. In this same way, not all basil is Genovese Basil. The DOP signifies that the basil comes from a specific area of Italy. If you’re not making your own, I recommend using jarred pesto labeled “Genovese Basil DOP.” You’ll find the Kirkland brand in the refrigerated section at Costco. It makes an excellent sauce for cooked pasta, can be combined with mayonnaise to put on a turkey sandwich or a BLT and it freezes exceptionally well.
What Side Dishes Serve Well With Chicken Caprese?
If you’re looking for ideas of what to serve with this simple chicken Caprese dinner, I highly suggest other intensely summery dishes like corn on the cob and thickly sliced watermelon. With flavors like this, you can never have too much summer!
What Wine Serves Well With Chicken Caprese?
I recommend Vermentino. Vermentino is the main white grape variety grown in Lugaria, the same region of Italy as Genovese Basil, making it a natural pairing. It’s typically fermented and aged in stainless steel. The grape is highly aromatic and produces wines with a light to medium body, making it a perfect weight for this dish and the warm temperatures of summer.