Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken with Apricot Pan Sauce

Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken
Stuffing variation, recipe at bottom of post.
This delicious dish is always a hit with my husband and son. In fact after this picture was taken my little guy ate this serving plus one more for lunch, he's 2. The second picture is another variation. Ingredients for stuffing will follow but the technique is the same. 

Not only is this a family favorite, it is fast enough for a weekday meal and elegant enough to impress your friends if entertaining. I love to make healthy and nutrient rich foods that are so full of flavor and look beautiful on the plate because we eat with our eyes first after all. I hope this becomes as much of a hit in your home as it is in mine.

Chicken Ingredients: 

4     Large Chicken Breast, halved
1     Medium Onion, finely chopped
4     Cloves of Garlic, minced
2     Large Tomatoes diced
1     Bunch of Kale, chopped
2     Cups Plain Bread Crumbs
3/4  Cup Feta Cheese
1     Egg
1/4  Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2     T. Honey
1     T. Brown Sugar
Granulated Garlic
Lemon Pepper
Olive Oil

Pan Sauce Ingredients:

1   Cup White Wine or Chicken Stock
4   T. Apricot Jam
2   T. Dijon Mustard
2   T. Honey
1   T. Brown Sugar

Start with the filling, heat 2 T. Olive Oilin a  large oven safe skillet at medium heat. Add finely chopped onion and sauté for a couple of minutes. 

Add a dash of salt, a couple of tablespoons of granulated garlic, a tablespoon of dried basil or Italian seasoning and the minced garlic and continue to sauté, stirring constantly. 

After a few minutes add diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, honey, brown sugar and kale. Allow this mixture to cook and reduce by at least half, approximately 8-10 minutes. 

While this is reducing prepare your chicken by patting it dry with paper towels and seasoning on both sides with a little bit of salt, lemon pepper, paprika and granulated garlic. Remember that seasoning every layer of your dish will make 
it flavorful and delicious.

Your stuffing mixture should be reduced. Remove it from the heat and transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes. In the meantime clean your pan because you will be using it to cook the chicken. 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Once the mixture has cooled a bit add the bread crumbs and feta cheese and stir then add the egg, be sure the mixture is not too hot otherwise it will cook in the mixture instead of combining with it. Stir the mixture until combined and use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to evenly distribute it on the chicken about an inch from the widest end. 

You will have left over stuffing, I used mine to make a meatloaf!

Heat the oven safe skillet on medium/high with enough olive oil to coat the bottom and start rolling up the chicken. 

Now that the chicken is rolled and the skillet is hot start adding the chicken and brown on each side, approximately 2 minutes per side. If it is easier for you, you can secure the rolled chicken with toothpicks. After both sides are browned transfer the entire skillet to to oven for 15 minutes.

Remove pan from the oven and make sure to keep your oven mitt or pot holder handy because you will be making the sauce in the same pan. 

Place chicken on a serving platter and tent foil over the top to keep it warm 
while you make the pan sauce. 

Place pan over medium/high (be careful not to grab the handle without an oven mitt, ouch) heat and add wine or chicken stock to deglaze the pan, use a whisk to get all of the goodies stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add jam, Dijon mustard, honey and brown sugar. Keep stirring/whisking to incorporate all of the ingredients and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until thickened/reduced. Salt or season to taste.

Plate the chicken with your favorite side dish and spoon the sauce over the top and enjoy. This dish goes perfect with a crisp white wine. 

Here is another variation:

Stuffing Ingredients:

1/2  Cup Ricotta Cheese
1/2  Cup Feta Cheese
1     Bunch Kale, finely chopped
1     Onion, finely chopped
1     Red Bell Pepper, finely    
1     T. Granulated Garlic
1     T. Italian Seasoning
1     Egg, beaten
Salt and Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. This filling doesn't need to be cooked before stuffing the chicken. Follow stuffing and rolling instructions and prepare the chicken and sauce according to above recipe. 

Please leave feedback in the comments section! I am always looking for ways to improve and ideas on new dishes that you want to see. 

Food is Love and I Love Food



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