I got this recipe out of The Best of America's Test Kitchen book. Its simple and it's a real family pleaser :) I served this with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli for a complete meal. Note: Avoid thin chicken breasts for this recipe; they are difficult to stuff without tearing. Preshredded or part-skim mozzarella will also work in the filling, but it will be grainy.
- 4 ounces whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1⁄4 cup fresh basil, minced
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6-8 oz each)
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 slice high quality sandwich bread, torn into quarters
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- toothpicks or wooden skewer
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine the cheese, 2 Tbls. of the basil, cream, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of the garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper to taste in a medium bowl.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and cut off any fat. Cut a pocket in the thickest part of the chicken breast and gently work the knife back and forth until the pocket extends down into most of the breast.
- Scoop one-quarter of the filling into each breast.
- Seal the opening by threading a toothpick or wooden skewer through the chicken about 1/4 inch from the opening.
- Transfer the stuffed breasts to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and spread evenly with mayonnaise.
- Pulse the bread in a food processor to coarse crumbs, about 8 pulses. Toss the breadcrumbs with 1 teaspoons garlic, 2 Tbls. basil, and 1 Tbls. of EVOO. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the chicken, pressing lightly to adhere.
- Toss the tomatoes with 1 Tbls. EVOO, 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste. Arrange in the baking dish around the chicken. Bake until the crumbs are golden brown and the thickest part of the chicken registers 160 degrees, about 25 minutes.
I'm going to rate this 5 stars even though I subbed chicken thighs. It was really delicious and quite easy to make. I served it with pasta and a creamy sauce that I made after skimming the fat from the pan, reserving the chicken juices, and adding Parmesan cheese, sort of like an Alfredo. Very tasty chicken!