Saturday, August 10, 2013

Basil and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

         It's fun to make the occasional "fancy" meal during the week. I usually have my rotation of dependable and easy recipes for the week, but I like to throw a new one in the mix every once in a while. I usually get inspiration from cooking shows, something I recently ate at a restaurant, or a cook book I have perused. I saw a stuffed chicken recipe on a cooking show, and decided to make my own version. The recipe is more or less as follows:

2 chicken breast with skin on
2 cups basil 
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced dried salami 
1 cup of mozzarella cheese
1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic 
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups chopped lettuce
3-4 Tbs vegetable oil
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

1.) Start by flattening the chicken into about 1-1/2 inch thick pieces by placing between two pieces of plastic wrap on a cutting board. Pound the chicken with a meat mallet until thin, making sure the chicken skin remains intact. 
2.) For the filling of the chicken, mix the cheese, 1 cup of the basil, the diced salami, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/4 cup of diced onion, 1 diced clove of garlic, 1/8 cup of olive oil, and pepper to taste. Mix well until all the ingredients stick together.
3.) Lay the chicken out, skin down, and begin to fill and roll. Put 1/4 to 1/2 cup of filling in the middle of the chicken. Begin tightly rolling the chicken around the filling and pin the roll closed with a toothpick. There should be some extra filling left. Salt and pepper the chicken. 
4.) Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium heat with 3-4 Tbs. vegetable oil. Once hot, sear the chicken roll, fold side down to seal the opening. Turn chicken every few minutes until all sides are golden and the chicken skin is crispy. 
5.) Place chicken in a medium shallow baking pan filled with 1 cup chicken stock (enough to cover bottom of pan). Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. 
6.) While chicken in baking, make aioli dressing. Mix mayonnaise, 1 cup of finely diced basil, 1/8 cup of olive oil, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 Tsp. of lemon zest, 1 finely diced garlic clove, salt and pepper to taste, and 1/4 cup of diced onion. 
7.) When chicken is done, drizzle with dressing and serve with lettuce topped with dressing and left over chicken filling. Enjoy!

I made one of the chicken breast with soy mozzarella because I am lactose intolerant. I used a Boar's Head brand of salami. The chicken would also be delicious served with steamed artichoke and the dressing to dip. 

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