So, Thanksgiving for me is a hurdle on the way to Christmas-land. I tend to think of the big meal as just a way to carb up before all the decorating I do the weekend immediately following, so I shall not be doing some outrageous meal planning post here. We’re traditional. Turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, etc. etc. It’s all delicious, I promise, but it’s nothing extraordinary.
This dish, however, is like a miniature exotic Thanksgiving dinner made all in one skillet, which is fun for everyone. I’m not a great fan of the chicken breast – it’s too easily overcooked, doesn’t have any flavor unto itself and such stigma it carries when underdone. Woe to the chicken breast. Well, this preparation changes all that. It’s easier to cook, a little more forgiving if dried out, and the business you stuff it with is seriously flavorful. There isn’t an exact science with the measurements here, so add more feta if you feel inclined, drop the sundried tomatoes if their texture offends, and use whatever herb combination you like best. The wine-loving Helen Jane thought this one up; I can take no credit.
Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Chicken breasts (our rule of thumb is one for me, two for the husband)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Basil (if you’re using fresh, cut it into wee pieces. Google the term “chiffonade” and feel impressed with your fine culinary technique)
Sun Dried Tomatoes (I use maybe 4 and cut them up very small)
Bread, diced (use stale, toast it before hand or don’t, this is pretty forgiving. We use maybe three pieces for the two of us.)
Butter/Olive Oil for cooking
Rinse your chicken, pat it dry, and smash it on into a flat, wide piece. My preferred method is to tuck the breast into a plastic baggy (the quart size is perfect) and then go to town on it with the flat side of a hammer (as in, not the head or the claw). Try not to hit too hard, because you don’t want to tear a hole in the meat. If you have a meat mallet or some other way of getting your breast into a flat, wide piece, then have at it. We’re shooting for 1/4ish inch thick.
Now, heat up a little olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and let it get soft, maybe 5 minutes. Add the basil and oregano and season everything with salt and pepper. Mix in the sundried tomatoes and bread pieces and stir it all together. When the bread starts to get toasty and smell good, add your feta and then immediately remove the pan from heat and put all of your stuffing into a separate bowl.
Now take your squished breasts and salt and pepper both sides. Add a tablespoon of butter and a little drizzle more of olive oil to your pan and let that heat up to medium-high. Add a handful of stuffing to each piece of chicken and then fold the meat on over so it makes a little pocket. Now place your chicken in the pan and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side. If the thicker edge of the pocket isn’t getting cooked, you’ll need to use tongs to hold it up on it’s side to cook for a few minutes. Don’t go scaring anyone with your pink chicken flesh. Go ahead and throw in the rest of the bread mixture, if there’s any left over from your stuffing process.
I usually just serve this with a vegetable and the rest of the stuffing, but you could put it over pasta or mashed potatoes or whatever. Yum.