Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cheesy Basil-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Winner winner chicken dinner!!  Jason RAVED about this the entire time he ate it.  This is another recipe from my Cook's Country cookbook.  It went great with the Roasted Broccoli I made for dinner.  I made a couple small changes which I'll specify and, like the Quick and Crunchy Pork Chops from last night, I halved the recipe when I made it, but will post the full recipe.

Cheesy Basil-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Serves 4

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I used part-skim)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp heavy cream (I used whole milk)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (the fatter/thicker the better)
3 tbsp mayonnaise (I use Hellman's Canola Mayo)
2 slices heart white sandwich bread, pulsed in a food processor to coarse crumbs (I used panko bread crumbs - about 1/2 cup for 4 breasts)
2 tbsp evoo
1 pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved
Salt and pepper

1.  Preheat the oven to 425°.  Combine the cheese, 2 tbsp basil, cream, lemon juice, 2 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl.  Using a sharp paring knife, cut a pocket into the thickest side of each chicken breast.  Stuff each chicken breast with equal parts of the filling.  Secure the chicken by weaving either toothpicks or a 6 inch skewer through the chicken to seal in the filling.

2.  Place the stuffed breasts into a 9x13 baking dish.  Combine the bread crumbs, 2 tbsp basil, 1 tsp garlic and 1 tbsp oil.  Coat each chicken breast with 1 1/2 tsp mayo and firmly pat bread crumb mixture onto each breast.

3.  Toss the tomatoes with the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper.  Arrange them around the chicken breasts in the baking dish.  Bake the chicken until the crumbs are golden brown and chicken is fully cooked - approx 25 minutes.  Serve each chicken breast over the roasted tomatoes.  Enjoy!

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