June 14, 2010

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Yum. This is a technique that I learned a long time ago from Cooking Light magazine...once you have it down, you can adapt the recipes to include anything you want to stuff chicken with! This particular recipe is a Greek inspired filling...and I served it with a delicious Greek salad. Take a lookie!

Here is the filling before I put it inside the chicken breasts. It consists of: feta cheese, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, oregano, a drizzle of oil from the sun-dried tomatoes, and a drizzle of chicken broth (to keep the mixture moist). I could eat this mixture by the spoonful (and may or may not have).

Here is a look at the delicious salad I made to accompany the meal. It included romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese, croutons, and homemade Greek-style dressing (which was a basic red wine vinagrette, plus oregano).

And finally:

Ok - I realize that this doesn't look very appetizing, because the chicken is baked in foil packets, so it doesn't get the nice, golden-brown color. If this bugs you, before you serve them put them under the broiler for a minute or two and give them a tan. It doesn't bother me, however, and I didn't want to dry them out so I served them as is. Your choice! The Greek-style recipe is below, but feel free to modify it to your tastes...you could also stuff these with: ham and Swiss cheese (ala Cordon Bleu style); pepperoni, marinara and mozarella cheese (kid pleaser!); or blanched veggies and parmesan cheese (healthy!). The possibilities are endless!

Stuffed Chicken Breasts:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped and a tablespoon of the oil reserved
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • Several leaves (3 - 4 tablespoons) of fresh basil, julienned and divided
  • One handful of kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (approximately) low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 4 small pats of butter
  • salt and pepper
Combine feta cheese, basil (reserving about 2 teaspoons for garnish), sun-dried tomatoes and oil, kalamata olives, and oregano in a bowl. Mix and drizzle in a little chicken broth to keep mixture moist.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Trim any fat or yucky stuff off of chicken breasts. Place them in a large ziploc bag with all of the air squeezed out, seal. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken breasts until they are an even thickness. Using a very sharp knife, carefully cut a slit in the side of each of the chicken breasts, as far in as you can without coming out the other side, making a pocket.

*TIP*  If you pound the breasts too thin, this will be difficult and you will probably blow a hole out the top or bottom of the breast (which totally isn't a huge deal), so just pound them until they are even.

Stuff each breast with 1/4 the feta cheese mixture. Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breast.

Place a small pat of butter on a square of aluminum foil, place the stuffed chicken breast on top, drizzle with about a tablespoon of chicken broth and fold foil around chicken, sealing the edges. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts.

Once the oven is preheated, put all four packets on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. At this point, I determined that the chicken didn't seem done enough, so I continued to cook for another 7-8 minutes...it just depends on your oven.

While the chicken is cooking, make a salad. When the chicken is done, you can either open up the packets (on the cookie sheet still) and broil for a couple minutes to turn the chicken golden brown, or just remove from the packets and serve. Enjoy!!!

Printable Recipe

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