Baked Chicken with Herbs and Bacon
Since I grew up on a small cattle ranch, you might find that I'm a bit partial to beef. However, I have a few recipes for chicken that I really enjoy. This is one of them. When you use fresh herbs it makes all the difference in the world. I love the Italian flair to this dish, and it goes quite well with roasted vegetables.
Start off by laying four chicken tenders in a foil-lined baking sheet. You could lightly spray the foil with olive oil or cooking spray if you like, but the natural juices from the chicken and balsamic you'll add later makes it not necessary.
Sprinkle a few drops of balsamic vinegar over the chicken, then season it with salt and pepper. Take a few fresh basil leaves and sprigs of rosemary (you don't need much) and place them over the chicken. Once again, this is one of the recipes that makes me incredibly thankful to have herbs growing on my porch! Next, halve your grape tomatoes and place them over the chicken too.
Now here is a deal maker. Take two pieces of bacon (I like to have them cut in half) and microwave them for about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes. The reason I microwave them is to be sure that the bacon is cooked so I can actually eat it, not just enjoy the flavor it will give. To me, a cooking tragedy is when bacon is used for flavoring but isn't cooked enough to actually eat the bacon itself! Microwaving it beforehand gives it just enough of a boost for it to be nice and crispy once the chicken is done. Once you have given the bacon a head start, lay it across the top of the dish.
Now all you have to do is throw the baking sheet into a pre-heated oven (425 degrees F) and let it bake for about 25 minutes. Something for a little extra flavorful delight is topping it off with some mozzarella cheese. Although this is certainly optional, it's highly recommended! Place a few small slices over the top of the bacon and put the whole pan back in the oven on broil for 3-5 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn. This also gives just that much more crispiness to your bacon. However, I would recommend broiling it for the last 3-5 minutes even if you choose not to top it with cheese. Enjoy!
- 4 medium chicken tenders
- balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper, to taste
- A few leaves of fresh basil
- A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 5-8 grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 slices bacon
- mozzarella cheese, sliced (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Put chicken tenders on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper over chicken. Next, place basil, rosemary, and tomatoes over chicken.
- Cook bacon in microwave for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes to let it begin cooking. Once finished, place the bacon over the chicken.
- Put baking sheet in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until chicken is done.
- Optional: Turn oven to broil setting and top chicken with slices of mozzarella cheese. Put back in the oven for 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted and bacon is extra crispy.