Would you believe me if I told you stuffed chicken was something you could make during the week?
I would not have believed you until now. This is the perfect make ahead dinner, just get the chicken breasts stuffed and trussed and stash in the fridge for dinner up to two days ahead. If you are like me, and you do not plan ahead that well, this dish is also easy to make from start to finish.
The best part of this dish is how moist the chicken is. The filling helps, being moist from the mushrooms, onions, bacon and cheese, but the cooking method, braising, also contributes to the tender, moist chicken.
Mushroom, Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts Serves 4
4 chicken breasts, trimmed of visible fat
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup diced onion, yellow or white
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded Italian cheese (I used half mozzarella and half provolone)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Butterfly the chicken breasts, then pound them out to 1/4″ thick. Set aside.
In a non-stick skillet heat the olive oil until it begins to shimmer. Add the mushroom in a single layer and allow to brown on each side, about five minutes.
Add the diced onion and cook until it is beginning to soften. Add the chopped garlic and bacon and cook for thirty seconds. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a food processor combine the mushroom mixture with the breadcrumbs and mix until the mixture forms a rough paste. Stir in the cheese. Spread 1/4 of the filling on each chicken breast, leaving a 1/2″ border on all sides. Roll the breast gently, making sure not to squeeze out the filling, and tie with butchers twine.
Using the same skillet as before heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers. While it heats season the chicken with the salt and fresh pepper. Brown the chicken on all sides then reduce the heat to medium low and add the chicken stock to the pan. Cover with a lid and let cook for 25 to thirty minutes. The chicken is done when the stuffing reaches an internal temperature of 160 F.
Remove the chicken from the pan and tent with a double layer of foil. Reduce the broth to 1/2 cup. Add the butter, cream, and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer then strain into a bowl for service.
Slice the chicken and drizzle with the sauce. Devour.