Here’s last night’s dinner. Based on popular demand — okay, based on one person asking — here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3-4 strips thick-cut bacon
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1-4 cloves garlic, minced (to taste)
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 pkg mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Cook bacon in cast-iron pan over medium-low heat, turning as needed, until well-done and crisp. Remove to paper towel to drain.
  2. Brown chicken in bacon fat with chopped garlic and diced onions.
  3. Puree tomatoes and bacon in blender.
  4. Put chicken in baking dish with lid. Add oregano, basil. Pour pureed tomatoes over chicken. Top with thick layer of mozzarella (I use most or all of a 16oz package).
  5. Bake, covered, at 350° for 45 minutes or until chicken is done
  6. (Optional) Finish for ~5 minutes under broiler to brown cheese
  7. (Optional) Garnish with basil leaves

Notes

  • If you don’t have bacon, don’t eat bacon, or would rather save 10 minutes off the front end, you can just brown the chicken in butter or oil (or use some saved bacon fat)
  • I’ve substituted garlic scapes (chopped fine) for the minced garlic, and it works out fine.
  • I’ve used white and yellow onions in the past; not sure it makes a difference
  • If you omit the bacon, add some taco seasoning to the chicken when browning, swap out the mozzarella for a cheddar/jack blend, and garnish with chopped scallions instead of basil, you have the “Mexi-Melt Chicken Surprise”.

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