Using salad dressing isn’t anything new or innovative, but I believe in an attempt to be creative, we sometimes forget that it’s okay to use something simple, like a store-bought vinaigrette, to make dinner easy without giving up good flavor.
Yesterday afternoon I made one of our favorite sides – Mediterranean Couscous Summer Salad. It’s not summer anymore, but this salad still works with lots of meals. This time I paired it with a simple chicken recipe, one that’s easy to throw together after work.
In fact, if you’re smart, the next time you buy a large tray of chicken breasts on sale at the grocery store, freeze a few in a bag with the marinade. It’ll allow the seasoning to marry well with the chicken, and all you’ll need to do the day before you’re ready to cook is pull the bag out to thaw in the fridge. Easy!
Marinated Balsamic Seared Chicken Breasts
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Serves: 2-3 adults
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 skinless boneless chicken breasts
1 bottle balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
Add the dressing and chicken to a large zip-top bag and seal. Set aside for 30 minutes to marinate as it comes to room temperature.
Preheat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add the olive oil, and then the chicken. Season the side of the chicken facing up with the salt, pepper and basil. Cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes*. Remove to a plate and let rest for 2 minutes before serving.
*If the chicken is more than 1-inch thick, you can either pound it down to 1/2-inch before cooking, or add another 2 minutes to the cooking time.