Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mozzarella Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Yield: Serves 4

This is one of those dishes that will make you moan with pleasure after just one bite.  It’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, bursting with basil garlicky pesto flavors and oozing with mozzarella cheese.  I’ve made it a bit healthier by using whole-wheat Panko breadcrumbs. I used homemade Eric’sPesto, but you can substitute your own pesto or prepared pesto from a jar. This one is good enough to serve at a dinner party.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, for seasoning chicken

¾ cup basil pesto (or use store-bought pesto)

8 ounces sliced fresh mozzarella cheese

2 large eggs, beaten

1 cup panko bread crumbs

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

¼ teaspoon Kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. (I used parchment paper.)
2. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, flatten each chicken breast to about a 1/4 inch. (Remove the tenders and saved them for another meal like a stir-fry.)  Season each breast with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
3. Spread about 3 Tablespoons pesto onto each chicken breast; top each with mozzarella cheese, about 2 ounces of cheese per breast. Carefully roll up the chicken and secure with toothpicks.
4. Place the beaten eggs in a pie plate or shallow dish. In a medium bowl, combine panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Dip each chicken breast in the eggs and then into the panko Parmesan mixture. Make sure the breasts are well coated. Discard any extra mixture. Place chicken on the prepared baking sheet.
5. Bake 40-45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center and the chicken is golden brown. Serve warm.

Note-make sure you remove the toothpicks before eating.

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