Recently I came across a recipe that I had printed for Balsamic Chicken which was cooked in the slow cooker. It sounded delicious and very easy-but why stop there? If the chicken would cook for hours in delicious balsamic vinegar why not make it into a caprese chicken dish? In my head I imagined a piece of chicken topped with a slice of melted fresh mozzarella cheese, some toasted breadcrumbs, some tomatoes, fresh basil and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic glaze. And that’s exactly what happened-although the picture in my head was this neat little package all perfectly balanced on the plate and the plate that I ended up with wasn’t quite so neat.
The flavor. WOW! Delicious! Drizzling the balsamic glaze and olive oil over the dish at the end really made all of the other flavors pop.
The other fab part of this dish is that the chicken cooks in the slow cooker and you can make that in advance (mine was cooked on Sunday and I made the completed dish on a Tuesday night). The completed dish took no more than 15 minutes start to finish-so it’s great for a weeknight as well.
I had cherry tomatoes on hand but you can certainly use other larger tomatoes and just cut a few slices-just make sure they’re nice and ripe.
Ingredients for slow cooker portion:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 2-2.5 lbs, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced to 1/2 inch rounds and then halved
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped into a few pieces
- 1/2 cup high-quality balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
Ingredients for oven portion:
- 3 tsp butter
- 6 tbsp fresh seasoned breadcrumbs
- 3-6 slices fresh mozzarella (1-2 slices each-as per your taste)
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or larger tomatoes sliced.
- fresh basil leaves, sliced thin
- drizzles of balsamic glaze
- drizzles of olive oil
Instructions for the slow cooker:
- Trim any fat from the chicken, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Coat the bottom of the slow cooker insert with the olive oil, snuggle the chicken breasts into the cooker in an even layer, top with the onion and, garlic and herbs. Pour the vinegar and tomatoes into the cooker.
- Cook on low for 6 hours.
- If you plan on completing the dish another day allow the chicken and onion/tomato mixture to cool and then store in the refrigerator for a few days—otherwise continue below.
Instructions for oven:
- Preheat broiler to low setting.
- Place the butter in a small pan on the stove over medium heat. When hot and bubbling add the breadcrumbs. Stir and cook until toasty brown then set aside.
- Reheat chicken and some of the onions/tomato mixture (however you’d like–I used the microwave).
- In a dish suitable for the broiler place the chicken and some of the onions/tomato mixture, top with slices of cheese then breadcrumbs and put in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven, place chicken and some of the onions/tomatoes on a plate, arrange tomatoes around it, sprinkle with basil and drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.