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Basil Stuffed Chicken_SAC (16)

So it’s hot here. I guess that’s my punishment for complaining that it didn’t feel like summer here in the Pacific NW. Touché karma. This heat has me dreading cooking….but a girl’s gotta eat! And BTW – just so you realize I am not exaggerating too much – it’s 90 degrees – and no one in Seattle has air-conditioning!

This recipe is great – easy, quick, and only a few ingredients. If you have a grill – by all means – please grill. If you’re like us – and you don’t have a yard to do any grilling – go with the good ole’ fashioned stovetop. It doesn’t take very long – so you won’t heat up your house too much.

Basil Stuffed Chicken_SAC (1)

Here’s what you’ll need: chicken breasts, basil, parmesan cheese, lemon, olive oil, and s&p.

That’s right. Easy peasy, right?

First things first….we’re going to flatten out these chicken breasts. This helps with even cooking and quicker cooking. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter, place the chicken breast in the middle of the plastic wrap, cover with another sheet – and bash with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin. Hit it about 10 times — the goal is to have evenly thick piece of chicken. Repeat on the remaining chicken breasts.

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Now that the chicken has learned its lesson (get it…I beat it, now it’s learned its lesson? – I’m hysterical, right? Moving on…..) slice into the chicken breast to make a pocket. How do you do that? Take a sharp pairing knife. And slowly, insert the knife into the direct center of the chicken breast. Keeping one hand on top of the chicken breast, slowly move the knife back and forth until you create a pocket in the chicken – making sure not to cut all the way through – just creating a large space inside to hold the stuffing. Repeat on the remaining breasts and set aside while you make the marinade and stuffing.

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Simple stuffing: take a large bunch of basil (I used about a 1 cup unpacked) and mince. Add to a bowl with ¼ cup of parmesan cheese and 1 t. olive oil. Mix mix mix and then set aside.

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Now onto the marinade:  zest and juice 2 lemons. Mix juice with 2 t. olive oil, 1 t. salt, and ½ t. pepper. Mix and set aside.

Basil Stuffed Chicken_SAC (12)

Stuff the chicken breasts with the basil and parmesan stuffing – about 2 T. per chicken breast. Try to make sure you evenly distribute the stuffing – so it’s spread out and not in a ball in the chicken breast. Just makes for a tastier experience.

Once the chicken is stuffed, coat the chicken in the marinade and add to the grill pan or preheated pan.

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Cook over medium heat until cooked through – 170 degrees internal temperature.

Note: don’t over-crowd the pan: if this means you do 1 at a time in the pan, so be it. Otherwise – the chicken steams instead of allowing the sides of the chicken to brown.

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Serve with a salad or some grilled veggies – Enjoy!

Basil stuffed chicken Breasts
Serves 4

Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 cup basil leaves – unpacked (about 20 leaves)
2 lemons
1 t. salt
½ t. pepper
2 t. olive oil, divided

Directions:

  1. Flatten the chicken breasts by laying a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter, place the chicken breast in the middle of the plastic wrap, cover with another sheet – and hit with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin until even in thickness.
  2. Slice into the chicken breast to make a pocket by taking a sharp pairing knife and slowly, insert the knife into the direct center of the chicken breast. Keeping one hand on top of the chicken breast, slowly move the knife back and forth until you create a pocket in the chicken – making sure not to cut all the way through – just creating a large space inside to hold the stuffing. Repeat on the remaining breasts and set aside while you make the marinade and stuffing.
  3. Stuffing: mince basil and add to a bowl with ¼ cup of parmesan cheese and 1 t. olive oil. Mix and then set aside.
  4. Marinade:  zest and juice 2 lemons. Mix juice with 2 t. olive oil, 1 t. salt, and ½ t. pepper. Mix and set aside.
  5. Stuff the chicken breasts with the basil and parmesan stuffing – about 2 T. per chicken breast.
  6. Once the chicken is stuffed, coat the chicken in the marinade and add to the grill pan or preheated pan. Cook over medium heat until cooked through – 170 degrees internal temperature.

Note: don’t over-crowd the pan: if this means you do 1 at a time in the pan, so be it. Otherwise – the chicken steams instead of allowing the sides of the chicken to brown.

Serve with a salad or some grilled veggies – Enjoy!

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