Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Bruschetta and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
I like simple peasant type foods, rustic in character with under ten main ingredients (less is more) if possible. And, I have learned to adapt my cooking to include what is on hand in my pantry. I buy all our meat at Costco about every six weeks and divide it up to freeze. Once a month I restock the pantry with essentials, then once or twice a week I make a run to the market for those more fragile food items such as bananas, milk, etc.
My daughter, Elizabeth, found the following recipe for stuffed chicken in a food magazine a few months ago and tonight we made it for the second time ... the kids devoured it.
Prep time: 15 minutes --- Total: 1 hour
1 can (14-1/2 ox.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained (plain diced is fine too)
1-1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (I've used fresh rosemary in a pinch)
1 package (6 oz.) stuffing mix for chicken (such as Stovetop)
8 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (2 lbs)
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing (oil and vinegar based)
1 Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare stuffing by mixing in the whole can of diced tomatoes (including liquid), 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, basil along with the stuffing mix in a large mixing bowl just til moistened.
2 Pound out the chicken breasts two at a time in a gallon size plastic freezer bag to 1/4 inch in thickness.
3 Place pounded chicken breasts smooth side down on a cutting board and place a palm sized amount of stuffing in the middle ... and roll up tightly log style with stuffing in the middle and place seam side down in a 13"x9" pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat.
4. Pour the salad dressing evenly over the top and bake for 40 minutes.
5. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese and bake for five more minutes or until cheese is bubbly and chicken is done.
Makes 8 servings (approx 280 calories per serving)