Chicken for Dinner
We eat a lot of chicken…organic chicken actually. The organic chicken has a much more succulent flavor because those chickens eat, forage and scratch in their surroundings, running around and doing chicken things. Have you ever watched chickens? They do funny chicken things. I will have to video my sister in-laws chickens, they are hilarious! They are much happier than being packed in a cage for their entire life. Look at it this way, the chicken gets to have a good life, with just one bad day.
So today I was wondering what to make and decided on stuffed chicken breasts. After scrounging through my fridge, pantry and garden I came up with these ingredients:
Mushrooms, shredded mozzarella, spinach, basil, a jar of sun dried tomatoes, half of a shallot and Italian dressing.
Remember when you are foraging, like the chicken, for something to eat a small amount works. The shredded mozzarella came from making a pizza and the last 1/2 cup is still sticking around, same with the Italian dressing…last bit in the bottle. The spinach and basil from the garden will give the chicken a fresh bright flavor and the smoky sundried tomatoes will add that deeper flavor element The last of some fresh mushrooms and shallot heated before stuffing give the filling a bit of something yummy as well.
As I am using two chicken breasts cut in half length-wise, (don’t cut through, you want to open like a book and stuff it all in) you really don’t need a lot of ingredients.
Marinate the chicken in the dressing, for an hour or so, sauté the chopped shallot and chopped mushrooms for a few minutes in some evoo and let cool.
Open your chicken and stuff in your filling ingredients and lay in a couple of leaves of basil and spinach along with the cheese and tomatoes, mushroom and shallots.
I used some twine to tie them together because I may have over stuffed them a bit and I don’t want all the cheese to run out and take everything with it…kind of like a roaring river of cheese with a sundried tomato and mushroom kayak ripping down the rapids…or you could use some toothpicks. Then in a cast iron skillet I browned both sides and then added 1-2 tablespoons of the remaining Italian dressing and a tablespoon of butter over the top along with a can of French onion soup and put in the oven at 350 for 30-45 minutes. Cook until internal temperature is 165 degrees. I actually take out at 160 and let it keep cooking with a piece of foil over the top.
Then some sautéed green beans rounds out our meal and a beautiful California red!
Imagine some other fillings that would add a wonderful flavor profile. Remember, you don’t need a lot of the ingredients for even three or four chicken breasts.
How about dried apricots, gruyere cheese, basil and sliced pecans?
Or, a few slices of lemon, garlic, leeks, tarragon and feta cheese?
Oh, I know…how about slices of tomato, cheddar cheese or pimento cheese and wrap the whole thing in a couple slices of bacon….what????
Maybe Hawaiian chicken pizza stuffing, pineapple juice for marinating, then inside some sliced ham, bacon, tomato and mozzarella or pepper jack cheese? I think we are having chicken tomorrow too…woot woot!
Okay, so what are you stuffing in your chicken?