Monday, July 7, 2008

Chicken Caprese with Cappellini

Caprese refers to an Italian salad of fresh mozzarella, plum tomatoes, and basil seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil. I used that as my inspiration for tonight's dinner - Chicken Caprese served with Cappellini with Tomatoes and Garlic and Roasted Asparagus.

Chicken Caprese


* If you are pressed for time the marinade is optional, but I feel it added a lot of flavor to this dish. Instead, season the chicken with salt and pepper, and season your flour with oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 3 chicken breasts, trimmed and pounded to a semi-thin breast

The rest:

  • 1/2 c flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 c dry white wine
  • 3/4 c low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tomato, chopped (not too small)
  • A few slices of fresh mozzarella (use lowfat for a healthier version)
  • Basil for garnish


  • Mix marinade ingredients and pour into a plastic bag with chicken. Marinate in the fridge for several hours.
  • When ready to cook, remove chicken from the marinade and make sure all of the pieces of pepper and onion are removed.
  • Heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat in a large saute pan.
  • Season chicken with salt and pepper, and then dredge chicken in flour, shake off excess, and add to the pan.
  • Saute for 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  • Remove chicken from the pan onto a dish and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Lower heat to medium and add wine. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes while scraping up brown bits.
  • Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
  • Return chicken to the pan, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Top each piece of chicken with a few pieces of mozzarella. Top with tomatoes from the pan, sprinkle with basil, top with some freshly ground black pepper if desired, and serve over pasta.

Making chicken using this method - dredging in flour, searing, then making a wine/broth sauce - is a good base for any chicken dish. You can change the flavors and make it anything you want. Some other dishes I've made this way include Creamy Dill Chicken, Chicken with Tomatillos and Roasted Poblanos, Chicken with Crimini Mushrooms in a Sage Sauce, Chicken in a Chipotle-Red Pepper Sauce, Chicken Piccata, Lemon Dill Chicken, Chicken with Artichokes/Lemon/Thyme, and even Fish in a Lemon-Wine Sauce.

I was so happy with this chicken and would highly recommend it, especially if you love the flavors of fresh tomatoes and basil.

Cappellini with Tomatoes and Garlic


  • 1/2 lb cappellini or another thin pasta
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 of a small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 can of diced tomatoes with juice (or 1 fresh chopped tomato - I would have preferred fresh but didn't have another tomato)
  • 1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. I like to add some olive oil to the water.
  • Cook pasta.
  • In the meantime, heat olive oil in a saute pan.
  • Add garlic and onions and saute until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and juice. Let simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Once pasta is cooked and drained, add to the oil mixture. Toss.
  • Add Parmesan cheese and top with basil, if desired.

The size of the cappellini made it a nice, light summer pasta dish. It went perfectly with the delicious chicken - I'm definitely making this one again!!

And to round out the meal, I made roasted asparagus. I tossed fresh asparagus spears with olive oil, salt, pepper, and just a touch of red pepper flakes. The asparagus roasted in the oven on 400 for about 8-10 minutes.

I loved everything about this meal - it had all of the summer flavors that I love and was pretty healthy, as well. I hope you enjoy this if you make it too!

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  1. Wow - that looks awesome... even better than the similar dish Olive Garden offered not too long ago! Great job :)

  2. Hmm, Olive Garden made one like this? I haven't been there in about 10 years!! DH used to love going - there isn't one near us or we'd probably be there pretty often (if he had anything to say about it :)

  3. This looks great, Mary Ellen! I would definitely love this!

  4. i love caprese salads! your chicken dish looks wonderful

  5. I'm going to try this next week. It looks like the perfect hot weather dish! I love caprese.

  6. That sounds like a perfect summer meal. I love the flavors of caprese salad, and it sounds great with chicken!

  7. I love the flavors of fresh tomatoes and baisl; it's a wonderful combination of flavors and great for the summer.

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  8. I made this dish about a month ago and it received rave reviews from myself AND my super picky husband. It is now on the regular rotation. Thanks for sharing!