Pan-seared chicken breast is dressed up with creamy sweet corn with mascarpone cheese, parmesan cheese, and bacon. Sautéed kale goes well with the sweet and salty flavors in the sauce. Serve with garlic bread or pasta for a full meal.
Boneless skinless chicken breast. Love it or hate it?
While chicken breast is certainly a staple for dieters and bodybuilders alike, I don’t shy away from adding high-calorie toppings or sauces. See this Chicken Parmesan recipe, for example. What I love about boneless skinless chicken breast is that when you pound the chicken thin, it cooks in just 10 minutes (5 minutes per side). This makes it a very convenient protein for weeknight dinners.
You’re most likely already familiar with cooking chicken this way, but if not, here’s what I do. I usually put each piece of chicken inside a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. I don’t seal the bag but place it over a cutting board and put the chicken in the middle. Next I push out most of the air. Then I pound the chicken with a meat mallet, so the chicken juice stays in the bag and doesn’t fly all over.
Another advantage to cooking chicken breasts this way is that they stay juicy. See, when you cook a regular chicken breast in a pan, you run the risk of the outside parts getting dried out before the inside is cooked. When you pound the chicken flat to an even thickness, the outside will get a nice seared crust just as the inside is cooked.
Now, want to really up the flavor of the chicken? Instead of cooking the chicken in oil, I cook the chicken in bacon grease. Because white meat chicken has a mild flavor, it really picks up the bacon flavor. (It’s the same way I start my Bacon Chicken Marsala).
I could eat the pan-seared chicken plain like that, but I love adding creamy or cheesy sauces. For this one I went with fresh summer sweet corn cooked in butter with fresh thyme, mascarpone cheese, parmesan cheese, milk, and the bacon pieces.
It was so good. I could eat this every week for the rest of summer.
Here are some of the main ingredients. There are three ears of corn, four slices of bacon, about a pound and a half of chicken breast, and some thyme.
Here’s the seared chicken breast, cooked in bacon fat.
The corn kernels got nicely browned from the remaining bacon grease in the skillet.
Chicken Breast with Creamy Corn and Bacon
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded thin
- salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 3 ears corn - cut off kernels
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves plus extra for garnish
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bunch kale, deveined and chopped
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until browning, about 7 minutes. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate.
Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in the same skillet with bacon grease over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet in a single layer and cook for 5 minutes per side, until cooked through. (Chicken should reach internal temperature of 165 degrees or juices should run clear.) Remove chicken to a plate and tent with aluminum foil.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add corn kernels, thyme, and a little bit of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until corn is tender, about 5 minutes.
While corn is cooking, start the kale. Heat olive oil in a second skillet or a pot over medium heat. Add kale and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
When corn is tender, add milk, mascarpone cheese, and ½ cup parmesan cheese. Stir until cheeses are melted and the sauce is smooth. Stir cooked bacon into the corn mixture.
To serve: Divide chicken and kale between serving plates. Top chicken with corn sauce. Top with remaining parmesan cheese.