I’ve been away from my kitchen too long. Recovery from knee replacement surgery is a slow process, one that must be taken seriously, if you expect to regain full use of the knee. All that stretching, bending, walking, etc is hard work and very tiring. I’m glad to report that I’m moving ahead at a steady pace, but in tiny steps. During the past weeks, we’ve had some wonderful friends who stopped by with meals for us (they took pity on Mr. D.) so we have enjoyed some great home cooking while I’m recuperating but today I felt like getting my hands dirty in the kitchen. So this is what I came up with.
Exploring my freezer, I found a package of boneless chicken breasts, and in my cupboard, a jar of roasted peppers. What naturally came to mind to accompany these ingredients were mozzarella cheese and basil. This meal is quick and easy-to-prep, just right for when you want to get out of the kitchen fast, but also elegant enough for a special meal. Keep the side dishes simple with a vegetable and a salad.
Mr. D. loved it, commenting that it looks like pizza. It really does because of the colors of peppers and cheese, plus the Italian seasoning. It smells wonderful as it’s cooking also. He said it’s become his new favorite way to have chicken.
This is my basic recipe, but it can certainly be changed or added to with some sautéed spinach, sliced fresh tomatoes, artichokes, mushrooms, etc.
STUFFED CHICKEN WITH ROAST PEPPERS, MOZZARELLA AND BASIL
Yield: Serves 4
- 4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8 slices
- 1 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 bunch fresh basil, whole leaves
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
- salt and pepper for seasoning
1. Preheat the oven to 400*F. Grease a broiler-proof baking dish.
2. Butterfly chicken breasts by cutting into the long side of the breast, stopping about 1/4-inch from the opposite side. On your work surface, lay the chicken breasts opened up. Sprinkle the exposed insides with 1/2 of the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
3. Stack the pepper, 1 slice mozzarella and basil on the bottom side of the chicken. Fold the top flap of the chicken over, tucking in the contents as necessary. Sprinkle with the remaining Italian seasoning.
4. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes (until chicken is no longer pink). Take chicken out of the oven and turn on broiler. Top each chicken piece with remaining slices mozzarella and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Broil until cheese is browned and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Serve with vegetable and a salad.
SOURCE: Food Network