Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I love caprese salad, but even though it is getting warmer, the tomatoes are not at their best. Winter tomatoes are best for making sauce out of and cooking with. Fresh tomatoes are best for eating raw.

So I did what I could and took caprese salad in a different direction by stuffing it inside a chicken breast. It is a very pretty meal you can serve to guests and healthy enough to go into the family meals rotation too. And what can you say about melted cheese? I know that as a child whenever a meal involved melted cheese, I was ready to eat it, even if it involved tomatoes.

Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

4 chicken breasts
1 medium tomato
4 large basil leaves
       or a small handful of sage leaves (fresh only!)
Mozzarella cheese, 4 slices
     or Gruyere
4-6 tbsp Sundried Tomato Parmesan and Garlic Olive Oil, divided

Heat your oven to 350degrees.

You can buy your chicken breasts already cut in butterfly fashion, or you can pound them out very thin and just wrap them around themselves. I always spatter my whole kitchen with chicken bits when I pound them, so I butterflied them myself. Just be careful not to slice yourself up if you do it that way.

Now, this is unnecessary, but I did it anyway. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a pan on medium high heat. Place in the chicken breasts and brown on each side. 2 minutes a side.

Stuff them with a slice of tomato and the basil or sage. Really stuff the cheese in there too. If it sits too near the front, it all melts out the side. Brush 2 tbsp oil on top.

Arrange them in a well oiled casserole dish and cover. Place them in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes. If you didn't brown the chicken before hand, in the last five minutes, remove the cover and brush with the remaining olive oil.

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