Bacon and Basil-Wrapped Chicken Breasts

Total Time
45mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 25 mins

From the July 1996 Gourmet magazine, these chicken breasts are really wonderful. This recipe calls for chicken breasts with the 'tenders', but I can rarely find them this way. I just stuff the chicken breasts with basil and wrap with bacon as described below. I have also tried these by stuffing them with some goat cheese too, that we liked a lot.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a small saucepan of boiling water blanch basil 2 seconds and drain in a sieve.
  3. Rinse basil under cold water to stop cooking and pat dry on paper towels.
  4. Put 1 whole chicken breast, skinned side down, on a work surface and remove "tender" (fillet strip located on either side of where breast bone was) from each breast half, keeping rest of chicken breast intact.
  5. (There should be 2 tenders from each whole breast.).
  6. Put 2 tenders side by side and wrap 7 basil leaves around them to enclose them.
  7. Season remainder of whole breast with salt and pepper and put basil-wrapped tenders lengthwise down middle of 1 breast half.
  8. Fold other breast half over to enclose tenders.
  9. Beginning on underside at 1 end of breast, wrap bacon slices snugly but without stretching, 1 at a time, around breast in a continuous overlapping spiral from 1 end to the other. (You will need about 4 to 5 bacon slices for each breast.).
  10. Remove tenders from remaining 2 chicken breasts and stuff and wrap breasts in same manner.
  11. Sprinkle crushed peppercorns evenly over bacon wrappings.
  12. Heat a 9- to 10-inch cast-iron skillet over moderately high heat until hot.
  13. Sliding a metal spatula under wrapped chicken breasts to keep bacon intact, transfer 2 breasts, undersides down, to skillet.
  14. Cook chicken, turning it only after bacon on underside is golden, until bacon is golden and crisp on all sides, about 4 minutes total.
  15. Transfer chicken as browned to a plate and cook remaining breasts in same manner.
  16. Pour off fat from skillet and return all 3 chicken breasts to skillet.
  17. Roast chicken in middle of oven 15 minutes, or until firm to the touch and just cooked through.
  18. Transfer chicken with tongs to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes before slicing.