Brie & Caramelized Onion Stuffed ChickenOur guest blogger this week on Shelly’s Friday Favourites is Leila Pejman. Leila comes to us from Future Shop’s Tech Blog where everyone enjoyed reading about (and cooking) her amazing recipes. From gluten free to special brunches, Leila’s covered them all. Enjoy these great chicken recipes!

Because I live alone, I’m forced to cook my own meals. Although I could dine out every night, it wouldn’t be good for either my wallet or my waistline. I also try to maintain a healthy diet, with lots of greens, vegetables, quinoa, and my protein of choice, chicken. My chicken preferences are pretty specific: I’ll only eat the white meat, and I don’t crave thighs, legs or other brown meat. I’ll maybe cheat and have wings with Buffalo sauce and blue cheese dip, but only when I eat out.

Chicken breast is my favourite because it tastes good (depending on the seasoning), it’s filling, plus it’s a clean protein. It’s also darn easy to prepare. I’m a lazy chef most days of the week. It’s hard to cook a steak in my tiny kitchen, plus it stinks up my place!

But eating chicken breast every night can get boring if you always prepare it the same way. The last thing you want to happen is for you to be so unsatisfied with your bland entrée that you order Chinese food later that evening.

Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella and Basil Stuffed ChickenWhich brings me to my first recipe: Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella, and Basil Stuffed Chicken from Barbells and Bellinis. ‘Tis the season to put basil in everything, but if you don’t like it (and I’ll try not to hold that against you), you can switch it with spinach or any other greens or herbs.

Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8 slices
1 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers sliced into 1 inch pieces (about two whole red peppers if you roast your own)
1 bunch of basil, whole leaves
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper for seasoning

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 9×12 casserole dish.  Butterfly chicken breasts by slicing into the long side of the breast, stopping just about 1/4 of an inch from the opposite side.  Lay chicken breast in casserole dish opened up.  Sprinkle the exposed insides of the chicken breast with 1/2 of the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.  Stack the roasted red pepper, basil, and 1 slice of the mozzarella on the bottom side of the chicken.  Fold the top flap of the chicken over, tucking in the mozzarella, basil and roasted red pepper as necessary.  Sprinkle with the remaining Italian seasoning.  Bake chicken for 30-40 minutes (until chicken is no longer pink).  Pull chicken out of oven and turn the oven to a high broil.  Top chicken with remaining mozzarella slices and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Broil until cheese is browned and bubbly, about 5 minutes.

Guacamole is my favourite dip, and I will pay for the good kind. However, why not infuse it into your chicken instead of saving it for nachos? I found this great recipe from The Wholesome Dish called the Guacamole Stuffed Chicken. Now, I’m not good at portion control when it comes to guacamole, so feel free to layer a generous amount into your chicken. Let’s just hope it wraps nicely.

GUACAMOLE STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST

Ingredients:

  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1¼ – 1½ lb. total weight)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tbsp. diced red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped tomato
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • ¾ tsp. salt, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp. lime zest
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Use a mallet to pound each chicken breast thin and flat. Set aside.
  • Remove the peel and seed from the avocado. Place the avocado in a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Add the onion, tomato, lime juice, and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine.
  • Divide the guacamole between the chicken pieces and spread it into a thin layer. Roll up the chicken, starting with the skinniest edge (the part that comes to a point). Secure the seam with toothpicks.
  • In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs.
  • In a separate shallow bowl, add the breadcrumbs, lime zest, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Roll the stuffed chicken in the eggs. Let the excess egg drip off. Press and roll the chicken in the breadcrumbs. Shake off the excess breadcrumbs. Place the chicken seam-side down in a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Discard the remaining egg and breadcrumbs.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and it’s coating is golden brown and crispy.

This somewhat gluttonous recipe is on the savoury side. It combines brie and caramelized onions—I’m already drooling! A bonus is that this recipe calls for wine, but only half a cup, so you can enjoy the rest of the bottle while cooking. It’s best to make this meal on a Sunday evening so your belly is happy for the week ahead. Check out this Brie & Caramelized Onion Stuffed Chicken from Dinners for A Year

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion, sliced thin, about 4 cups
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3/4 cup white wine, divided
about 6 ounces of Brie cheese, rind removed and cut into 6 slices
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter

 

Directions

In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced onion, salt and pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally,  for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown. Add sliced garlic and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of wine and cook 5 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Spoon 3/4 of the onion mixture into a bowl and the remaining 1/4 into another bowl – reserving for the sauce. Let onion mixture cool.

Cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Stuff about 1 – 2 tablespoons of the onion mixture into each pocket along with a slice of the Brie cheese.

In the same saute pan that the onions were cooked in, add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken in batches and brown chicken on each side; about 3 – 4 minutes per side. Remove chicken and place on a large baking sheet. Finish cooking the chicken in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the thickest part of the chicken registers about 165 degrees on a thermometer. Make sure you are testing the temperature of the chicken and not the stuffing.

Meanwhile, in the same saute pan, add the reserved 1/4 of the onion mixture and 1/2 cup wine. Bring to a boil and reduce for about 3 – 5 minutes. Add the sage and chicken stock and continue boiling for an additional 4 – 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir to melt.

Remove the chicken from the oven and place on a platter. Spoon sauce over the top and serve. 

How will you be preparing your chicken? Which recipe did you like the most? And if you have any great tips on preparing chicken, please share in the comments below.