Baked Caprese Chicken Thighs cooked right in a sweet, garlic balsamic glaze with juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and topped with melted mozzarella cheese!
Caprese Chicken made over with juicy baked chicken thighs! Many Caprese Chicken recipes I have found over the last few months call for searing chicken with salt and pepper and adding vinegar right at the end. But, why? This recipe is different.
Baked Chicken Thighs
I love the amazing flavour of baked chicken thighs in a sweet balsamic gaze… it has to be the best of all baked chicken recipes. PLUS, adding mozzarella and basil into that mix? Well.
What is Caprese
A traditional simple and flavourful Italian appetiser, a Caprese Salad (Insalata Caprese) consists of ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese and basil, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt. With this recipe, we are adding baked chicken thighs and a tonne of flavour.
I hope you’re not getting sick of seeing Caprese around here. The Caprese Deep Dish Mini Pizzas and Caprese Frittata were so good. Not to mention those Caprese Stuffed Garlic Butter Portobellos. But it was time for chicken, and this Caprese recipe is SO EASY. One of the EASIEST and TASTIEST recipes on this whole entire blog.
How To Make Chicken Caprese
First, we sear our chicken in oregano and basil (or you can use Italian seasoning), salt and pepper, until golden on both sides. (It won’t be cooked through, but we finish cooking them in the oven).
Next, fry the garlic until fragrant. Mmmmm, garlic smells.
Balsamic Vinegar and Brown Sugar
This is where all the flavour comes from. The sauce gets absorbed into the chicken as it cooks and creates the most amazing flavour. Stir both to combine well and allow to simmer until thickened. Don’t get your face close to the pan though. The strong smell can burn your eyes.
Add the chicken back into the pan, rotating to coat in the glaze and place into the oven and continue baking in the oven until cooked through and succulent. Place your mozzarella slices on each thigh and bake in the oven for a further 5 minutes.
So good you’ll want it straight out of the pan. And that SAUCE is extremely addicting! You have been warned. Top with shredded basil and a few fresh tomatoes and don’t forget to share it with whoever you’re cooking for.
WATCH US MAKE Balsamic Glazed Caprese Chicken RIGHT HERE!
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ORIGINAL RECIPE BY KARINA, CAFEDELITES ©
- 6 skinless , bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano*
- 1 teaspoon dried basil*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- cracked black pepper , to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or a light spray of cooking oil spray)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar , packed
- 1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes , divided
- 8 0z (250 g) fresh mozzarella cheese (or Bocconcini), cut into 6x 1/2-inch slices**
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves , chiffonade
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar , packed
Preheat oven to 210°C | 410°F.
Season each chicken thigh with the oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
Heat the oil (or cooking spray) in a large oven-proof pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown, about 4 minutes each side. Transfer chicken to a plate; drain most of the excess oil, leaving about a teaspoon worth.
Return the skillet back to the stove; fry garlic until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the vinegar and brown sugar; stirring to combine while heating through. Bring to a simmer, while stirring occasionally, until glaze has thickened (about 5-6 minutes).
Return the chicken to the pan, turning in the glaze to evenly coat. Add 1 cup of the tomatoes, whole, around the chicken and place the chicken into the oven. Bake until the chicken is completely cooked through (about 30 minutes). Top each chicken with a slice of mozzarella cheese; return back into the oven for a further 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
Slice the remaining 1/2 cup tomatoes in half; place them on top of the cheese; pour over some of the balsamic sauce from the pan and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.
If wanting to serve with extra balsamic glaze (as pictured above), make your glaze while the chicken is in the oven. Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, allowing to simmer while stirring occasionally, until the glaze is thickened and reduced by half (about 5-6 minutes). Drizzle over the chicken when ready to serve.
*You can substitute oregano and basil for Italian seasoning or pizza topper if that is what you have on hand.
**For my Australian followers, I find fresh Bocconcini in the deli section in Woolworths. I used 2 large balls, both 125 g each. You can use the smaller ones if that's all you can find.
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