2023 Pet of the Year Contest

Chicken with Burst Tomatoes, Peppers, and Mozzarella

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This is the time of year when we need quick family dinners that feel good to come home to. Chicken with Burst Tomatoes, Peppers, and Mozzarella fits the bill.

This chicken and veggie situation all rolled into one skillet makes easy work of putting a beautiful and healthy dinner on the table. Add a simple salad and maybe some crusty bread, and you are so good to go. The most time-consuming step is to slow-cook the tomatoes and peppers in a garlic, thyme, and basil-infused olive oil (yum, right?), but if you get those cooking you’ll be fancy free to do other things like help with homework or go through the mail or – gasp – sit down for 20 minutes and do nothing at all (save giving the tomatoes a quick stir every so often).

This is one that will look and taste like you really did something. Let’s keep the reality a secret.

Chicken with Burst Tomatoes, Peppers, and Mozzarella

Chicken with Burst Tomatoes, Peppers, and Mozzarella is a beautiful, healthy, and easy-to-put-together family dinner.

Chicken with Burst Tomatoes, Peppers, and Mozzarella

2 tablespoons plus ½ cup olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled, divided
4 chicken cutlets (or 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half horizontally)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
4 sprigs fresh thyme
12 fresh basil leaves, sliced thin, plus more for garnish
1 pint small tomatoes, such as cherry or grape
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cups bocconcini (fresh mozzarella pearls)
Balsamic glaze, for garnish (buy it where you buy balsamic vinegar)

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 1 smashed garlic clove and cook, stirring, for 1 minutes. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and cook in the skillet for 5 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate.

Reduce the heat to low, and warm ½ cup olive oil in the same skillet. Add the remaining 2 smashed garlic cloves, thyme, and basil. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, pepper, red pepper flakes (if using), 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and stir to coat the tomatoes. Cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the tomatoes burst. Remove the thyme sprigs.

Warm the chicken in the skillet with the tomatoes. To serve, top the chicken with the tomatoes and a drizzle of the oil from the skillet. Add the mozzarella and more torn basil leaves. Taste for seasoning, adding a little flaky salt and freshly ground pepper if you’d like. Drizzle with a little balsamic glaze.

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