Sunday, July 24, 2011

Eric's Stuffed Chicken Breast Recipe

Eric and I were brainstorming dinner ideas the other night and this is one he came up with. It was a bit of a job stuffing them, definitely needed two extra hands or a lot of extra counter space. I don't have much counter space, so Eric was drafted as my sous chef. We served the chicken with mashed turnips (which were totally amazing, by the way) and steamed asparagus.

These are really good, but I'm still going to experiment with different fillings. I'd never done stuffed chicken breasts before, I don't like having to handle raw chicken. (I had a bad experience, gave Suzy food poisoning once cause I didn't clean up well enough.) But I faced my fear, disinfected everything and once I was done with the cutting board and knife, they went straight into the dishwasher. And everyone seems to still be healthy. Woohoo! Now that I know it's not as scary or difficult as I expected, I'm going to be stuffing all kinds of things into my chicken breasts. I'll post any winners.

Eric's Awesome Chicken

5 boneless-skinless chicken breasts
1- 8oz pkg cream cheese
1 1/2 Tbsp chives
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp Cholula
10 thin slices deli ham
15 slices bacon
15 toothpicks

Heat oven to 350 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Mix cream cheese, herbs and Cholula together in a small bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.

Trim all fat from chicken breasts. Carefully slice a pocket horizontally into the chicken, almost like you're going to butterfly it. Stuff each chicken breast with 2 slices of ham and about 1/5 of the cream cheese mixture. Wrap it with 3 slices of bacon and use the toothpicks like straight pins to keep it together. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake until cooked through, (165 degrees internal temp) 45-60 depending on the size of your chicken breasts.

 - I think that these would turn out better if the breasts were brined before stuffing. Just a couple hours in a saltwater brine would really help.
 - You could use any herbs you have laying around to change up the flavors.
 -  I didn't think they needed the ham, I couldn't really taste it alongside the bacon. But Eric said it made the dish, so use your own judgement on that.

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