Chicken Capri Deluxe

I have made some version of this recipe at least a dozen times in the past 6 months.  I'm not even sure if I've made it the same way twice.  The original Chicken Capri recipe is on page 214 of The South Beach Diet Cookbook.  Made as is, the recipe is great, but of course I have the need to tinker;-)  My tinkering has included substituting an Italian spice blend, basil, diced tomatoes with real garlic, store-bought marinara sauce, and of course left over quick red wine tomato sauce for the original ingredients. A couple of days ago I actually made this "deluxe" version for a Sunday lunch with friends. Everybody loved it, and I didn't spend hours in the kitchen.  As a matter of fact, you can have dinner on the table in 40 minutes (even with the deluxe version of the recipe).  Feel free to tinker - I probably will!

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Chicken Capri Deluxe
1 ricotta whip recipe - also used in the Penne Pasta Bake recipe (you can also substitute a simple Italian seasoning)
15 oz can of strained tomatoes (crushed, sauce, drained diced tomatoes, or your favorite store-bought marinara will work too)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of oregano
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (sometimes I like to cut the breasts in half to make them even thiner)
1/4 cup of chicken broth
1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella
salt and pepper
olive oil

For the Ricotta Whip
1 (15 or 16 oz) tub of whole milk ricotta (use reduced fat to strictly adhere to South Beach principles)
1 egg
2 cloves of garlic
1/8 cup of freshly chopped parsley
1/8 cup of fresh rated Romano cheese
1/8 cup of fresh Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
fresh basil

1) Heat oven proof pan for two minutes. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to pan. Sprinkle one side of the chicken with salt and pepper and place seasoned side down in preheated pan.  Sear for 8 minutes.

2) Sprinkle the other side of chicken with salt and pepper. Flip chicken.  Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, cover, and cook for 8 minutes.

3) While chicken is cooking preheat oven to 350 degrees and make the ricotta whip by adding all the ingredients to a bowl and whip with a fork.

4) Prepare sauce by adding strained tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, and 1 teaspoon of oregano to a bowl and mix thoroughly.

5) After chicken is done cooking on the second side, turn off the heat.  Top each chicken breast evenly with a large spoonful of the ricotta mixture.

6) Carefully top each chicken piece with tomato sauce mixture.

7) Sprinkle evenly with cheese and bake until cheese is lightly brown and bubbly - about 20 minutes.

8) Top with fresh basil and serve.  Be sure to scoop all the surrounding melted sauce and cheese with each chicken breast.


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