Sunday, June 13, 2010

Almond-Stuffed Chicken...

I found yet another rogue recipe we made just before we left Minneapolis that we never got to talk about with all the flurry of activity that was happening. I was trying to get one of the last batches of chicken we had in the freezer used up and this classy Almond-Stuffed Chicken was the one that cleared out the rest of the white meat.

Depending on the recipe, stuffed chicken can often be a production, between flattening the meat, adding the filling and sealing it back up with ties or picks. While that isn't necessarily a bad idea at all, I wasn't in the mood for that much work tonight, which made this seven-ingredient dish that much more appealing. With a thin, sharp knife, we simply sliced a pocket into the thickest portion of each piece, then wiggled the knife around inside, making ample room for the filling. Be sure to stop before you reach any section that risks the knife poking through the meat to keep the filling from oozing out and more importantly, you don't poke yourself with the knife.

We stuffed the chicken with a cheesy blend of creamy Boursin cheese (swoon!) spread, toasted sliced almonds and chopped fresh parsley. Make your own blend or use whichever garlic and herb-flavored soft cheese you can find at the market. Place a spoonful of the mix into the pocket, then use your fingers on the outside of the meat to spread the filling around the roomy space you created. With a straightforward seasoning of salt and fresh ground black pepper on the outside, we slide the chicken into a pan with a knob's worth of butter and let them be until each side was golden and cooked through. With the filling, it can be a little deceptive determining when the chicken is done by feel - I'd suggest sticking a thermometer into the center just to make sure it has come up to 165 degrees to be safe.

Chicken breasts are notorious for some as coming across on the dry side without a ton of flavor behind them, but that tasteful, nutty cheese mixture permeated the meat from the inside to ensure it became anything but bland. Making use of a thermometer to check for doneness only aids in keeping the chicken juicy and tender, but if they do become slightly overcooked, the filling works as another safety net by plugging in extra moisture. I didn't have any problem with the filling coming out of the slit and into the pan, but if you're worried that might happen, you could secure it closed with a toothpick.


  1. What a great idea for stuffing the chicken, it's all that other you mentioned--pounding it down, etc. that stops me from doing it hardly ever. I'm going to try this for sure--after we move (11 days)!

  2. Gorgeous. Hoping you are settling in. I had far too much meat to use up before I left so I actually took with me in two coolers packed with dry ice. I'm stil. enjoying it. :-)

  3. Katrina - I know what you mean, but you gotta do what you gotta do to get dinner on the table!

    Kelly - I thought about that, but our drive was just too long (and quite full) to deal with that!