Monday, September 18, 2006

Stuff It - Rosemary and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I really enjoy recipes that allow me to get most of the prep and clean-up done ahead of time. With a young baby it is hard to get dinner ready while watching him...especially since he can crawl. I find that he tends to follow me everywhere and crawl up my leg as I'm working in the kitchen. This makes moving around to get ingredients quite a challenge. He also seems to get frustrated if I dodge him and go around the island in the kitchen to avoid getting caught. So I try to get a lot of my cooking done when he is asleep. That means I have to use Gabe's afternoon nap to start dinner and get things prepared so that I can focus on feeding and entertaining him once he is awake. I find that this system works out pretty well. If I use my time wisely I can even get the house cleaned up and a load of laundry started as well - sometimes. Today Gabe slept really well so I got to work on dinner and even had some time to myself to spend blog-hopping. Yay!
Today I made stuffed chicken breasts, parmesan asparagus spears, and sauteed mushrooms. This worked really well. I really enjoy rosemary, so this dish was a big hit. The chicken remained tender and juicy because of the addes butter inside of the meat and the fresh cheese kept it's shape and didn't ooze out which has happened with other varieties. This is definitely a keeper and if I was in a huge time crunch I could stuff the chicken and put it in the fridge until closer to dinner or even until the next day.

Rosemary and Mozzerella Stuffed Chicken Breasts

3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Large Fresh Mozzerella Cheese Ball
1 T Fresh rosemary
3 T butter
1/2 c flour
1/2 c Italian Bread Crumbs
1 egg - beaten

1. Pound chicken breasts until 1/4 inch thick. Lay flat skin-side down.
2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary.
3. Place 1/3 of cheese and 1 Tablespoon of butter on bottom half of breast. Tightly roll chicken over filling and secure all sides with toothpicks. (At this point it would be a good idea to refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 1 day before breading. This will give the chicken time to firm up and it will hold its' shape better.)
4. Make an assembly line of 3 dishes. The first with flour, the second egg, and the third bread crumbs. Cover each breast in flour, then dip into the egg wash, and finally cover with crumbs.
5. In a skillet, brown each breast in a little butter or olive oil. (I actually use a little of both - the butter for taste and the olive oil for the higher burn temp.)
6. Transfer browned chicken to an oven safe dish and finish cooking in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

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