So, one day I was having a brilliant idea (I do have those once in a while). Well, you see I had recently made Chicken Cordon Bleu (a chicken filet pounded flat, rolled with ham and Swiss cheese, breaded, and baked). I thought, well, if you can wrap that up inside chicken, why not other good stuff? I just happened to have a lot of basil on hand that day, so I figured I’d try something Italian style. It did not disappoint! And the beautiful thing is that although is seems like an impressive little dish, it is actually quite easy to make. Serve it with a side of browned-butter garlic pasta (recipe coming soon) and a salad or some fresh veggies. We love this chicken so much that it’s now a regular item on the dinner schedule.
Stuffed Italian Chicken
- 4 inch chicken breast fillets pounded to 1/4 thickness
- 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese packed
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 mushrooms whitecap or crimini, diced
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 20 tablespoons chopped basil leaves approx 3, or 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 12 toothpicks
- 1 egg optional, beaten
- 1/2 cup panko or more as needed, to coat
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pound chicken fillets out to approximately 1/4 inch thickness.
Combine all ingredients for filling and mix until evenly distributed.
Take each chicken fillet and stuff with approximately 1/4 of the filling. Fold both edges of the chicken fillet into center, overlapping one over the other. Set in place with 3 toothpicks.
Dip each chicken fillet into beaten egg mixture, and then roll in panko to coat. Be careful to make sure filling does not spill out. (Alternatively, skip dipping the chicken in the egg mixture and just sprinkle the panko over the top of the chicken after placing in pan to coat half of the chicken.)
Place chicken in lightly oiled pan (a bread pan or small square pan will do). Top with any leftover filling.
Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Turn on the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the tops are golden brown. (Watch carefully - it can burn quickly if you're not paying attention!)
Change it Up:
Substitute grape tomatoes sliced in half for the sun-dried tomatoes. (I absolutely love the sun-dried, though, as they add so much flavor to the dish).
Substitute breadcrumbs for the panko.
Dress it down:
For a simpler version, eliminate the mushrooms and tomatoes.
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