Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Presto Italian Flag Chicken

My sister Becky made this recipe first and gave it five stars.  I didn't have pine nuts so I left them out so maybe that would have bumped it up to a five star.  However, it was really good and any sort of chicken stuffed with a creamy herb cheese is a winner in my book!

5 to 6 leaves basil
1/4 cup (about a handful) flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 block soft garlic and herb cheese, such as Boursin
1/2 cup (about 2 handfuls) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling (eyeball it)
Salt and ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450ºF.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, parsley, pine nuts, soft cheese, 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano (about a handful), some salt and pepper. Process into a smooth paste. Reserve.

Butterfly each of the chicken breasts and pound them out lightly in a plastic bag with a dash of water using a skillet or meat mallet. Season both sides of the chicken and divide the herb-cheese mixture between the four breasts, placing a scoop on one half of each breast. Fold the flap over to enclose the cheese mixture.

Transfer the chicken pockets to a baking sheet and shingle 3 slices of tomato over each breast. Season with some salt and pepper, drizzle with about 2 tablespoons EVOO and sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano (about a handful).

Bake the chicken pockets until cooked through and light golden brown, 20-25 minutes. 

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