Caprese Chicken

So Lilly Kate is 11 weeks old! She's almost three months already! Man, time flies by. And with only so much time in the day, I want and need to be able to spend as much time as possible with my little kiddos. Which means that, while I enjoy cooking, I don't have lots of time (or energy) to make fancy meals anymore - or so I thought.

In my search for yet another recipe using boneless, skinless chicken breast I came across a great idea - caprese chicken. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first since the original recipe just said to put raw chicken in the oven and then add mozzarella, tomato, and basil. I've baked chicken breast in the oven before, but it never gets golden brown. It just looks like it has been steamed or boiled or something...not exactly a feast for the eyes. Tastes okay, just not real pretty. So I decided to take a few recipes, add my own little touch and here's the result:

Yum yum if I do say so myself. Probably should have taken better pictures...
What can I say? I was hungry!
Caprese Chicken
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup kosher salt
4 qt. warm water
2 tbs. salted butter
2 tbs. olive oil
montreal steak seasoning
fresh mozzarella, sliced into half-inch discs
1 tbs. basil, chiffonade
1 beefsteak tomato cut into thin slices
1 tbs. balsalmic glaze
1.) Preheat oven to 450 F.
2.) Dissolve salt in warm water. Brine chicken in water for 15 minutes.
3.) Place in ziploc bag and pound each chicken breast out to an even thickness with a meat mallet.
4.) Pat chicken dry with paper towels, season with montreal steak seasoning.
5.) Heat butter and olive oil in saute pan over med-high heat. Saute chicken for 1-2 minutes on each side, just until golden brown.
6.) Place chicken on sheet pan and bake 10-11 minutes or until center of chicken is 165 F.
7.) Place mozzarella and tomato slices on top of chicken breast, broil for 1-2 minutes until cheese is slightly melted.
8.) Finish with a drizzle of balsalmic glaze and a sprinkling of basil.
I served this over mashed potatoes with a side of roasted green beans. I have to say this recipe exceeded my expectations. By browning the meat in the skillet you develop much more flavor than if you were to just bake it in the oven.  The brining helps keep the chicken moist and also infuses a lot of flavor into the chicken. The warm water helps bring the chicken to room temperature which also helps the chicken retain moisture. Anyways, hope you try it and hope you like it! It's definitely going to go into our rotation of chicken dinners.
recipe adapted from the following: