Saturday, March 1, 2008
These bruchetta made with roasted chicken, melted tomatoes and a crusty baguette were very well received at the Healthy Cooking 101: Healthy Cooking Techniques class that I lead today at Saint Philips AME Church. I wanted to post the recipe for those who attended the class and for anyone else looking for great use of leftover chicken (a common conundrum in more than my house, apparently).
Bruchetta is typically some grilled or toasted bread, in one form or another, topped with tasty morsels like tomatoes, olive tapenade, pesto with shrimp, or leftover bits of this and that. I think back in the 1980s bruchetta was one of the original "tapas" (small plates) that became so popular in restaurants (along with hummus and fried calamari). As food trends evolved and tapas became all the rage and more sophisticated, bruchetta has become somewhat mundane to those on the cutting edge of fancy faire.
However, I maintain that bruchetta is a form of "soul food" and as a starter to a large meal, an accompaniment with wine or even the focus of a light meal, bruchetta is quick, easy and resourceful (see comment about leftover chicken) that has myriad incarnations and never gets old. Few foods work better for a party at home or a heavy appetizer event because ANY topping on ANY kind of bread could loosely be interpreted as "bruchetta" so you're only limited by your imaginative use of ingredients and creative descriptions.
Speacial thanks to Dr. Hogan (Happy Birthday) and the Health Ministry at Saint Philip AME Church.
This recipe makes enough bruchetta to for about 10 people as an appetizer or as part of a meal (perhaps with a salad) for about 5 people.
Roasted Chicken & Melted Tomato Bruchetta
1 baguette, cut into rounds
2 pints grape tomatoes, cut in half
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
1 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
4 chicken breast cutlets
1 pinch (or 1/8 tsp) each : ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper, onion powder, cumin
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano (or 1 Tbsp dried Italian blend)
1. Season chicken with cinnamon, cayenne pepper, onion powder and cumin. Bake in a 400 degree oven until done, about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile combine tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onion, salt and pepper in a sauce pan over medium heat. Poach the tomatoes in the olive oil until the tomatoes release their juices and form a sauce.
3. When chicken is cooked through, allow it to cool enough to handle then shred or thinly slice the chicken. Add it to the tomato mixture along with the oregano and continue to poach for 5 minutes.
4. Arrange baguette slices on an ovenproof platter. Brush with olive oil and toast quickly in the oven. Generously spoon tomato and chicken mixture over the bread slices. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil if desired and serve immediately.