I hope everyone is enjoying the time to slow down and focus on family now a days. We sure have enjoyed it and the weather lately is a huge help. We have been rotating meals inside and outside and even do a picnic on the front lawn. This recipe is great to make a batch at one time and make you feel like your on an Italian vacation. One thing we love to do is tell Alexa to play Italian music or mariachi or whatever theme dinner we are having to make us feel like we are dining out to eat. My son loves it and it’s a great way to break up the routine dinners. Do you have any special things you do to set dinners apart and break up the same ole same?

I just served this chicken with a salad and some fresh green beans. It really pairs well with anything really.

Balsamic Glazed Caprese Chicken
(Adapted from Cafedelights)

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6 skinless , bone-in chicken thighs
1 teaspoon dried oregano*
1 teaspoon dried basil*
1 teaspoon salt
cracked black pepper , to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil (or a light spray of cooking oil spray)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar , packed
1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes , divided
8 0z (250 g) fresh mozzarella cheese (or Bocconcini), cut into 6x 1/2-inch slices**
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves , chiffonade

Balsamic Glaze: (Optional To Serve)
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar , packed

Preheat oven to 210°C | 410°F.

Season each chicken thigh with the oregano, basil, salt and pepper.

Heat the oil (or cooking spray) in a large oven-proof pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown, about 4 minutes each side. Transfer chicken to a plate; drain most of the excess oil, leaving about a teaspoon worth.

Return the skillet back to the stove; fry garlic until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the vinegar and brown sugar; stirring to combine while heating through. Bring to a simmer, while stirring occasionally, until glaze has thickened (about 5-6 minutes).

Return the chicken to the pan, turning in the glaze to evenly coat. Add 1 cup of the tomatoes, whole, around the chicken and place the chicken into the oven. Bake until the chicken is completely cooked through (about 30 minutes).

Top each chicken with a slice of mozzarella cheese; return back into the oven for a further 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Slice the remaining 1/2 cup tomatoes in half; place them on top of the cheese; pour over some of the balsamic sauce from the pan and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.

If wanting to serve with extra balsamic glaze (as pictured above), make your glaze while the chicken is in the oven. Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, allowing to simmer while stirring occasionally, until the glaze is thickened and reduced by half (about 5-6 minutes). Drizzle over the chicken when ready to serve.

You can substitute oregano and basil for Italian seasoning or pizza topper if that is what you have on hand.*For my Australian followers, I find fresh Bocconcini in the deli section in Woolworths. I used 2 large balls, both 125 g each. You can use the smaller ones if that’s all you can find.

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