My friend MaryEllen is a genius. She combined the wonderful, fresh flavors of caprese with breaded chicken to create the perfect meal. Just look at this plate of gorgeousness.
I don't know what else to say about this meal except that it was amazing. Crispy fried chicken topped with juicy, ripe tomatoes, melty mozzarella cheese and fresh basil from my garden. Heaven. I savored every bite.
A word of warning - this is definitely a summer meal. Don't try making this when tomatoes aren't in season. You want that freshness that can only come from a sun-ripened tomato fresh from a farmer's market and basil that wasn't grown hydroponically.
Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten with a little water
Breadcrumbs mixed with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2-lb fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 lb cooked spaghetti
1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid from the pasta
Pound chicken just a bit, then coat it with some olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, and garlic powder. Marinate in the fridge at least a few hours.
Preheat oven to 350; also start a pot of water for the pasta.
Heat vegetable oil in a large pan. Dredge chicken in flour; dip in egg, repeat to double dip it. Then coat chicken in the bread crumbs and add to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer chicken to a baking dish and put in the oven (no more than 10 minutes in the oven).
Discard the frying oil and wipe the pan clean. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Add garlic, saute 1 minute. Deglaze pan with wine, scraping up all brown bits. Add diced tomatoes and let simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Take the chicken out of the oven, top with the sliced tomatoes, a few slices of mozzarella, half of the basil, and a touch of freshly ground black pepper. Return to the oven to cook for 2 minutes.
Add reserved cooking liquid from the pasta to the tomato/garlic/wine mixture. Let simmer. Toss pasta in the tomato/garlic/wine mixture. You could also mix in some mini mozzarella balls or tiny pieces of mozzarella at this point.
Serve chicken over the pasta.