In the hierarchy of appetizers you will find bruschetta, with it's juicy chopped tomatoes, sweet basil, and pop of tangy balsamic, firmly planted at the top of my list — especially now when near-perfect summer tomatoes are still hanging around. Bruschetta is far too good to be reserved for appetizers alone, which is why I'm adding it to my meal plan to give an otherwise boring chicken dinner a big upgrade. It's a meal that's easy enough to tackle on those nights you don't really feel like cooking.
Slice Chicken into Cutlets for Faster Cooking
When the goal is getting your chicken dinner on the table in 30 minutes, cutlets have quick-cooking star power that really can't be beat. They're seared for a few minutes on each side, which means getting this meal on the table fast is totally doable.
The Difference Between Chicken Breasts and Chicken Cutlets
The difference that sets these two popular types of chicken apart is simply size, namely the thickness of the piece of meat. Chicken cutlets are the thin pieces of chicken cut from a boneless, skinless chicken breast. Depending on the thickness of the breast, you can typically get two to three cutlets per breast.
While you can find already prepped chicken cutlets in the meat case, expect them to come with a slightly higher price tag than your regular boneless, skinless breasts. Instead, I prefer to stick with the less expensive chicken breasts and take a minute to slice them into cutlets at home. It's simply a matter of slicing the breast in half horizontally for two thinner pieces. If you have especially thick chicken breasts, you might even be able to get three cutlets from it.
The Chicken Dinner Playbook
Want an easier way to approach your weeknight chicken dinner? Start by learning a few basic cooking techniques and then add a little inspiration (that's where we come in) — the possibilities are practically endless. This week we're sharing five recipes that build on basic techniques for quick and easy chicken dinners any night of the week.
Easy Bruschetta Chicken
plum tomatoes (about 12 ounces total), cored and diced
finely diced red onion
coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
cloves garlic, minced
olive oil, divided
kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or 4 chicken cutlets (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
Freshly ground black pepper
Place the tomatoes, onion, basil, garlic, 1 tablespoon of the oil, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine; set aside.
If using chicken breasts, slice each one in half horizontally, starting at the thick end, so that you have 2 (1/4-inch-thick) cutlets (this is known as butterflying). Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the cutlets in a single layer without crowding the pan, working in batches if needed. Sear the chicken until the bottom is browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the cutlets and continue searing until the other side is browned and the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer the cooked cutlets to a plate, tent with aluminum foil, and repeat cooking any remaining pieces.
Spoon the tomato bruschetta mixture over the chicken and serve.
Make ahead: The bruschetta can be made 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Let the bruschetta sit at room temperature while cooking the chicken.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.