Stuffed Caprese Chicken
I made this Stuffed Caprese Chicken twice in the past two days. It's that good and better yet, extremely easy. This stuffed chicken was the end product of a day when my choices were few; a partial carton of grape tomatoes, half a log of fresh mozzarella, chicken breasts in the freezer and a garden full of parsley and basil.
Individually frozen chicken breasts will defrost quickly when placed in a zip-lock bag and plunged into a large bowl of cold water. The amount of filling you will need depends on the number and size of the breasts. Cut thin slices of fresh mozzarella, quarter grape or cherry tomatoes, clean basil leaves and halve if large; set all aside. Using a sharp knife, cut into the side of the chicken breast and make an opening similar to a pita pocket. You want to open up the center of the breast as much as possible without cutting through to the other side. Line the back of the breast pocket with small, thin slices of mozzarella. Layer onto that pieces of tomatoes. Finish by running basil leaves across the tomatoes. The basil leaves at the opening of the slit will help keep the cheese and tomatoes inside while baking. Just do not over stuff. You want to be able to close the slit. Use about three toothpicks to close and secure the opening. Rub each breast with some olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper. At this point the chicken breasts can be finished in the oven or refrigerated until you're ready to proceed. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Place chicken breasts in a heavy, cast iron skillet (One night I made four in a 10-inch skillet. The second night I made two in an 8-inch). Right before baking, I drizzled my chicken with a little parsley oil I had made (recipe HERE). If you want to pass on the parsley oil, I suggest drizzling a little really good balsamic vinegar over the chicken breasts when pulled from the oven. Bake the chicken on the middle rack for 30 minutes. They should be perfectly juicy!
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Lovely recipe! I am thinking of adapting it for a sous-vide method, as I suspect this would work very well - of course, I would have to run it under a broiler or hot oven at the end, or maybe just brown it in a pan right before serving... at any rate, one can never have too many recipes to make chicken breasts interesting! ;-)
6/17/2015 05:44:47 am
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