Stuffed chicken breasts perk up a weekday meal
Stuffing a chicken breast might seem like a fussy thing to do — something reserved for the weekend.
But it’s really an easy way to elevate a rush-hour dinner.
This mixture of roasted red peppers, olives, basil and mozzarella add punchy antipasto flavours and melted-cheese appeal to a simple chicken meal.
After slicing into the thick part of the breast to form a pocket, you fill it, season the chicken and cook it in a skillet.
The chicken breast, golden brown with bits of the bountiful stuffing visible, is served on top of arugula leaves (baby spinach would work as well) and pan sauce is drizzled over the plate, wilting the leaves slightly and making for a luscious, warm dressing.
ROASTED RED PEPPER STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS Serves: 4
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1 3/4 lbs/
794 g total, not thin-cut; without tenderloins)
1/2 cup (125 ml) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese 1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped roasted red pepper
2 tbsp (30 ml) pitted, chopped green olives
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh basil leaves (may substitute
1 tsp (5 ml) dried basil)
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
1/4 tsp (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup (125 ml) no-salt-added chicken broth
1 tbsp (15 ml) red wine vinegar 4 cups (1 L) baby arugula leaves 1. Cut a 3-inch (7.5-cm) long pocket into the thick side of each chicken breast (without cutting all the way through).
2. Combine the cheese, roasted red pepper, olives and basil in a medium bowl, to form the filling.
3. Stuff some into the pocket of each chicken breast, using all of it. Season the outside of the chicken with 1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) each salt and pepper.
4. Heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the stuffed chicken breasts and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until the cheese has melted, then transfer to a plate.
5. The chicken should be cooked through.
6. Add the remaining tbsp (15 ml) of oil to the same skillet. Once it’s hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, then pour in the broth.
7. Once the liquid begins to bubble at the edges, stir to dissolve any browned bits in the pan. Add the vinegar and the remaining 1/8 tsp (0.5 ml) each salt and pepper, stirring to incorporate.
8. To serve, divide the arugula among individual plates. Top each portion with a stuffed chicken breast, then drizzle with the pan juices. Serve warm.