Monday, July 14, 2014

Chicken with Cheese--"Chicken Rarebit"

Ridiculously easy. Great tasting. And a stunning presentation. As the English would say, "Scrummy!"

The word "rarebit" has everything to do with Brits and melted cheese ... A Welsh Rarebit  (often called Welsh Rabbit even tho there is no rabbit) is a combination of cheese, beer and spices and served over toast.

In this recipe, it is simply cheese grated over thin chicken breasts and topped with cherry tomatoes still on the vine. Also, this is one of those recipes open to a zillion interpretations. Don't stop at sharp cheddar. What about smoky-bacon cheddar? Or basil-tomato cheddar. For this particular write-up, I used razor-thin ribbons of Prosciutto. Lovely! I also scattered thinly-sliced onions on the bottom of the dish and tucked in a few nibs of garlic. 

Serve with a side of pasta, rice or potatoes to mop up the cheesy/tomato mixture. I used thin-cut, skinless/boneless breasts, but you could simply slice a regular breast yourself.

  • 3 thin-cut skinless/boneless chicken breasts
  • 3-4 ounces extra sharp cheddar (white or yellow) coarsely-grated (figure about 2 tablespoons or so per chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • Cherry tomatoes on the vine

The following is optional:

  • Prosciutto
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Fresh thyme
  • Smoked paprika

Lightly season the chicken with a bit of salt, pepper, onion powder and, if not adding fresh garlic, a bit of garlic powder. I also use a bit of Old Bay's for a bit of "heat."

Lightly spray grease a baking dish large enough to hold the chicken. If using onion sprinkle razor-thin slices on the bottom. This does not bake for long, so you don't want onion that is cut too thick. Place chicken in the dish. If using Prosciutto, layer a few slices on top of chicken.

In a small bowl, add the grated cheese and cream and stir well. I just use my fingers. Evenly distribute cheese over each breast. If desired, grate a bit more (I usually do). Tuck in some nibs of garlic. Sprinkle with a bit of smoked paprika. 

Place tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with a few stems of fresh thyme. I give them just a sprinkle of  olive oil.

Bake in a 400 F degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until the top is golden. Allow to rest 10-15 minutes before digging in. This is even better served cold the next day!

You really need to make this!