Quick, easy and fresh, this grilled chicken is always a huge hit at my house – best of all, there’s really nothing to it. It’s the perfect thing to throw together on a weeknight for family and it’s impressive enough to throw together for friends or company.
When I made this chicken, we made it a second time later in the week…it’s that good. We’ve been eating it all summer long.
I really like this method for cooking perfectly moist chicken breasts on the grill, developed by Cook’s Illustrated. It takes a bit of time, but gives excellent results. If I’m in a real hurry, though, I just slice chicken horizontally and quickly grill. Your choice!
You can’t go wrong serving this open faced on toasted bread (a great opportunity to half the carbs) but it is a bit of a messier proposition than using regular buns.
Pick your chicken up on deep special and repackage for your family, use a decent (but not great) balsamic (check Trader Joe’s or Aldi) and make sure to use coupons (check hang tags near the cheese or the producer’s website) along with sales to lower the price of the mozzarella. Check with your coupon matching site for your local stores.
Grilled Caprese Chicken with Balsamic Glaze
- 4 chicken breasts, 6 ounces each, pounded slightly to an even layer
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning or my Italian Herb Blend
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- A little bit of olive oil for brushing grill
- 4 slices Italian or French bread, cut on the diagonal, about an inch thick
- 4 slices tomato, about 3/8 inch thick
- 4 slices of fresh mozzarella, sliced about 3/8 inch thick
- 4 basil leaves
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoons butter
Mix Italian seasoning and garlic powder. Sprinkle chicken on both sides. May be done ahead up to the day before and placed in a Ziploc bag in the fridge: even an hour will add some benefit, but if there’s not time, it can be done just prior to grilling.
If using charcoal, build a two-level fire by arranging all coals over half of grill, leaving other half empty. Grill is ready when side with coals is medium-hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above grate for 3 to 4 seconds). If using a gas grill, heat one side to medium hot. Clean grill when hot with a wire brush.
While chicken is cooking, put balsamic and butter in a small saucepan and reduce to about 1/2 the volume. Set aside. With this small amount of volume, the reduction happens quickly, so be sure to watch closely.
Brush the cool side of grill with a little olive oil (use tongs and a bit of wadded up paper towel). Place chicken on cooler side of grill, smooth-side down, with thicker side facing coals. Cover with a disposable pan and cook until bottom of chicken just begins to develop light grill marks and is no longer translucent, 6 to 9 minutes.
Using tongs, flip chicken and rotate so that thinner side faces coals. Cover with disposable pan and continue to cook until chicken is opaque and firm to touch and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 140 degrees, 6 to 9 minutes longer.
Brush a little olive oil on the hotter side of the grill. Move chicken to hotter side of grill and cook, uncovered, until dark grill marks appear, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken and cook until dark grill marks appear and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of chicken registers 160 degrees, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Move chicken to the cool side of the grill. Add tomato and top with mozzarella, cover with pan for just a moment until cheese is beginning to melt. In the meantime, place bread on the hot side of the grill and lightly toast.
Place chicken on toast. Top with basil. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Enjoy.
Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
- Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
- Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
- Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
- Read below for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.
Put Your own Spin on It:
- Vary the herbs or spices on the chicken.
- Marinade with Italian dressing.
- This basic recipe could be easily adapted to any number of flavors, and varied with different types of cheese.