Chicken Bruschetta Makes Good Use of Garden Bounty

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There are several steps to this recipe; it’s not a super quick toss-it-together-and-grill-it kind of dinner, but in the end, it really is a one-dish meal that can all be done ahead of time and assembled at the last minute.

I continue to enjoy cooking with the herbs from my small garden — like my burgeoning basil.
The following recipe for chicken bruschetta is a winner: Each and every time I serve it, someone requests the recipe. The presentation is dramatic, as it showcases the best of summer ingredients — tomatoes, basil and arugula — and it is a crowd pleaser. The pickiest of picky will eat a breaded chicken cutlet, even if they turn their noses up at arugula and tomatoes.
There are several steps to this recipe; it’s not a super quick toss-it-together-and-grill-it kind of dinner, but in the end, it really is a one-dish meal that can all be done ahead of time and assembled at the last minute.
You can even cook the chicken ahead of time, and either serve it at room temperature or quickly heat it in the oven a few minutes before you serve it. That makes it a great dish for parties or a summer Shabbat.
Serve it with extra bruschetta topping, a loaf of crusty bread and a chilled rosé.
Viva summer.
Chicken Bruschetta
2 lbs. thinly sliced chicken breast cutlets, about 8 pieces (Optional: marinate several hours or overnight in 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup white wine, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon garlic powder for added moistness and flavor)
¾ cup bread crumbs (seasoned, Italian-style)
¾ cup panko (if unavailable, just double the bread crumbs)
2 eggs
Canola oil for pan
Marinate chicken, if desired, for one to four hours or overnight.
Dredge the chicken in egg, then bread crumbs.
Place the chicken in a single layer in a well-oiled baking dish, and drizzle the top of the chicken generously with more oil — you want it to essentially fry in the oven.
Bake at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes; the chicken should be slightly brown and crispy.
While the chicken cooks, prepare the bruschetta dressing:
2 pints cherry tomatoes
½ red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup basil leaves, chopped
¼ teaspoon salt (to taste)
¼ teaspoon pepper (to taste)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon olive oil
In a blender, coarsely puree the tomatoes. In a bowl, mix the tomatoes with the remaining ingredients.
Assemble the dish:
12 oz. arugula or baby lettuce mix
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
Wash, spin, dry and place the lettuce on a large serving platter.
Toss lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Top with about half of the bruschetta dressing, reserving some to top the chicken and some to pass at the table.
Toss the dressing with the lettuce. Place the chicken pieces atop the salad and drizzle with the additional dressing and chopped basil, if desired. Serve immediately.
Serves 6 people 

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