Boneless, skinless chicken breast can be scary. There is a very fine line between juicy and succulent and dry as the Sahara Desert. I’ve ruined many dinners by overcooking the chicken by even just a few degrees. One thing that tends to be forgotten most is that just because you remove something from heat, doesn’t mean it quit cooking. I’m not Alton Brown, so I can’t explain what’s going on in there, but I do know the heat is still rising. It will continue to rise a few degrees yet. If you pull the chicken out of the oven after it hits 165°F and immediately cut into it, you are guaranteed dry, tasteless chicken. If you want juicy chicken, pull it out at 155°F, let it rest for a few minutes, then cut into it. The juices will redistribute, the temperature will rise and it will be amazing.
In this recipe, I kept everything extremely simple. 30 minutes to a gorgeous, flavorful dinner? Yes, please!
Since I’m the only meat eater in this house, I only made one serving. Have more meat eaters around? Just multiply the ingredients and enjoy! If you’re cooking more than 2, there is one adjustment that will need to be made. I’ll elaborate more when we get to that step.
Baked Chicken Breast with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes
Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast(s)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cherry Tomatoes — I used 9 for one serving, but feel free to adjust
1 clove Garlic, very finely minced
2 tablespoons Dry Red Wine, separated — just use whatever you have on hand
— Not a wine drinker? Don’t buy a whole bottle for just 2 tablespoons. Use red wine vinegar instead.
1 ounce Smoked Mozzarella, grated
Preheat your oven to 350°F
Trim the fat off the edges of the chicken breast and pat dry
Drizzle a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over the chicken and sprinkle with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper
Massage it into the chicken, being sure to get both sides
Place on a cookie sheet and place in the oven
Cook for 20-25 minutes, until the internal temperature of the thickest part is 150°F
While your chicken is baking, add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a sauté pan and turn the burner to medium-low (number 4)
Slice your cherry tomatoes in half and sprinkle the insides with salt
Place your cherry tomatoes in the olive oil, face down in a single layer
Add your garlic and stir
— Every time you stir, be sure to flip over any tomatoes to keep the face side down.
Cook, stirring every couple minutes, until the tomatoes begin to soften
Once they are getting soft, add a tablespoon of red wine and stir
Once your chicken reaches the internal temperature, remove it from the oven and turn the oven off
— If you’re cooking more than 2 breasts, leave your oven on
Place your cherry tomatoes in a small dish, leaving as much of the liquid in the pan as possible
Add another tablespoon of red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan
Put your chicken in the pan and turn the heat up to number 6
— If you’re cooking more than 2 breasts, pour the liquid over the breasts on the cookie sheet and put the sheet back in the oven for 5 minutes, flipping halfway through, sprinkle with cheese once the internal temperature reaches 155°F-160°F and remove from the oven
Once the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 155°F-160°F, sprinkle with the grated smoked mozzarella and remove from heat
Place your chicken on your plates and pour the remaining liquid in with the cherry tomatoes
Stir and spoon the tomatoes over your chicken