Sunday, January 16, 2011

HOW-TO stuff a chicken breast

Step 1: Prepare the filling.
There are countless combinations you can use. Some of my favorite combinations are: pesto, pine nuts, and parmesan (sometimes I add sun-dried tomatoes); apples, gruyere, and toasted walnuts; brie, apples, and toasted pecans. Or to make it more savory, add sausage to the brie instead of apples and add another cheese like parmesan. I often make two different fillings and make an extra pan to freeze.
Step 2: Prepare the chicken breast by cutting off the tender (this is that little piece of the chicken breast that almost looks like a little finger). Pat the breasts dry with paper towels.
Step 3: Filet the breast with your knife, but do not cut all the way through. You are simply cutting the breast in half to open it up like a butterfly. Doing this will make it easier to flatten and roll.

Step 4: Pound the chicken breast with a kitchen meat tenderizer. I have the one from Williams-Sonoma. It is easiest to do this if you have plastic wrap or wax paper over the chicken breast, or if you put them in a ziplock bag. This prevents chicken juices from flying all over the room!

Step 5: Pat the chicken breasts dry again (if needed) and then place the filling in the middle of the chicken breast.

Step 6: Roll the chicken up over the filling and secure with toothpicks or kitchen twine. I tend to like using toothpicks because they are so easy to remove.
Step 7: You're done! Place the breasts in a baking dish, allowing enough space between each to let air circulate. I like to rub olive oil over each breast before cooking and sprinkle salt and pepper over the top.

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