I once read that chicken was the most searched ingredient on major cooking websites. I think that’s because chicken is a protein that we all tend to keep around. It’s inexpensive, healthy and generally liked by everybody.
Though if we are always cooking chicken, we can’t use the same methods over and over again. We have to have some variety because if we don’t, we get what I like to call, the chicken blues. These blues usually result in a trip to the store for other proteins or Internet searches for chicken inspiration.
Well, this recipe for Stuffed Chicken Breasts is my cure to the chicken blues. They’re business on the outside with a very simple seasoning, but they’re party on the inside with a tangy and sweet stuffing made of cheese and bell peppers. It’s the perfect dish to try if you’re looking for a chicken recipe that’s different as well as simple and quick. Plus it’s versatile! I was going with Mediterranean flavors for my stuffing but the combinations are endless. Simply add the veggies and cheeses that you like and enjoy!
- Ingredients: (makes 4 servings)
- ¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- ½ Red Bell Pepper, sliced
- ½ Small Red Onion, sliced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Oregano or Italian Seasoning
- Paprika, to taste
- 4 ounces Goat or Feta Cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the filling by sautéing the red bell pepper and red onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle veggies with salt and pepper to taste, a few pinches of oregano and stir to combine. Then, Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Remove filling from the heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, season both sides of each chicken breast generously with salt, pepper, oregano and paprika. Then, insert a pairing knife into the thickest part of each chicken breast and slice lengthwise until you have made a 4 inch long and 3 inch deep pocket. You want to be able to lift and fill the pocket, but not completely split the breast in half.
Now the pepper mixture should be cool enough to handle. Divide it into 4 portions and do the same with the goat cheese or feta. Then, stuff each chicken breast with a portion of the pepper mix and top with a portion of the cheese. Try to press the mixture into the pocket leaving nothing hanging too far out.
Heat the remaining quarter cup of olive oil a skillet (can be the same one you cooked the veggies in) and when the oil is hot, gently add in each breast and sear for 5 minutes or until brown. Using tongs and a spatula gently flip each breast over and sear for 5 minutes more. Transfer the breasts to the oven to finish cooking (about 12 minutes). Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Serve each breast whole or for dramatic presentation, use a sharp knife to make 2 inch slices at an angle. Then, fan out the slices when plating. I served my breasts with a lightly dressed salad, keeping the dinner carb-free yet satisfying.