grilled chicken with warm tomato, bean and bacon salad

It has rained & rained…& rained here in ‘sunny’ Florida for weeks on end. I love the rain, I find it soothing & productive. I can say that because thankfully we’re not under water like several suburbs around us are, poor souls. It’s not interfered with our lives too terribly apart from we’ve had to nab brief times when it’s not raining to go riding or take the hairless duo for a walk. Cooking outdoors has been a no-go. This last week I wanted to barbecue some chicken for dinner but didn’t want to get struck by lightening in the process, so I came up with this recipe – flattened chicken with a warm tomato, bean & bacon salad. It’s summer meets Florida hurricane season – the looks & tastes of summer without venturing outside.

flattened chicken with salad

Chicken breasts, because they’re not an even thickness throughout, can be a little tricky to keep juicy during the cooking process. That’s what led me to this cooking method for them: I weighted the breasts down in a pan with one of my heavy cast iron pans. Weighting them down squashes the chicken breast, making it the same thickness throughout, ensuring even cooking. The result is moist, tender chicken. 

flattened chicken


While the chicken was cooking, I whizz-up the basil dressing (it’s ridiculously delicious & easy to make). Once the chicken was cooked, I popped it onto a plate to rest & made the warm tomato salad in the same pan. Super easy. Speaking of chicken, my hubby is busy cooking up the hairless duo’s chicken & veggies for the upcoming week. The kitchen is a hub of activity with hubby shooing Mango & Finn out of the kitchen to no avail. He’s even making breakfast in the process. What a guy right?! This batch-cooking, which works so well for feeding the hairless duo all week, has given me a great idea for something I want to try on my blog next week…stay tuned for that. I think it could be quite useful for busy work day meals.

sliced flattened chicken

I had planned to share this recipe yesterday but I got the most horrendous hay fever in the afternoon that rendered me useless for the rest of the day & evening. Today I feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck. The day after a bad hay fever attack leaves me feeling exhausted & weak. I was planning on doing some gluten-free baking today, that’s not happening, it’ll be Netflix & the couch. Interspersed with some computer work hopefully. 

overhead sliced flattened chicken

 We’re into August finally. I  think a new month holds much hope. With July behind me I look to August with anticipation as many new & promising things are on the horizon. For today though, I think I’ll make a cup of tea now the activity in the kitchen is over & then take my sneezed-out body to the couch & enjoy the rainy day. Have a wonderful Sunday everyone. 


flattened chicken & warm tomato, bean & bacon salad
Serves 2
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 4 bacon slices
  2. 2 chicken breasts
  3. 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus and extra 2 teaspoons
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  6. 8 oz (226g) grape or cherry tomatoes
  7. 14 oz (396g) can great northern or navy beans, rinsed & drained
  8. extra basil leaves for garnish
  9. shaved parmesan cheese for garnish
  11. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  12. 1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  13. 1/3 cup basil leaves
  14. 1/3 cup finely grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
  15. 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  16. 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  17. pinch salt & pepper
  1. To make the dressing: Place all ingredients in a tall, small bowl – I use the plastic container that came with my hand blender. Use a hand blender to blend until smooth. Or use an upright blender. Set dressing aside.
  2. Cook bacon slices according to the directions on the package (I like to cook mine in the oven in batches & then freeze them for later use). Coarsely chop & set aside.
  3. Combine chicken, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt & pepper together in a medium bowl. Place chicken in a hot, non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Place a heavy, cast-iron pan over the chicken to squash it down. If you don’t have a cast-iron pan, use a round cake pan & weight it down with cans or you could use a heavy saucepan & weight it down with cans. You want about 5 to 7 pounds on top of chicken. Cook chicken 5 to 7 minutes per side or until thoroughly cooked. Remove from pan; cover to keep warm.
  4. Heat remaining oil in same pan over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes to same pan. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are a little wilted & hot. Add a pinch of salt & pepper. Add beans & bacon, gently stir to combine. Cook 2 to 3 minutes until warm.
  5. Slice chicken, arrange on plate. Spoon tomato, bean & bacon salad over chicken. Drizzle with dressing. Top with basil leaves & shaved cheese if desired.
The Fresh Aussie
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