Lean and Mean Grilling (Grilled Herb Stuffed Chicken & Green Chile Macaroni)

22 Aug

I finally got a grill pan (thanks IKEA for the $15 buy!) so I put it to good use cooking dinner for a mini college reunion of fellow women engineers.  I found a healthy recipe in the latest issue (September 2006) of Shape magazine that looked tasty and paired it with a more fattening side dish, green chile macaroni.  I’ve been craving green chile macaroni since I had it at Moonshine Patio Bar & Grill in Austin earlier this month, so I had to give it a try in my own kitchen (I varied up a FoodNetwork version).  So there you go, healthy proteins with comfort carbs, paired with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend from Casa Rodena Winery, which I picked up on my roadtrip through New Mexico.

Grilled Herb Stuffed Chicken


    • 1/2 cup fresh basil, lightly packed
    • 1/2 cup fresh dill, lightly packed
    • zest of 1 large lemon
    • 1 tbsp minced garlic
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 1 3/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    • cooking spray
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes

Finely chop basil and dill.  Combine in bowl with zest, minced garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.  Set aside.

Apparently I bought rather large chicken breasts (I grocery shop like a man flirts at a bar), there were only 3 in the 1 3/4 lb package.  So I halved them first to make 6 manageable size breasts (chicken breast reduction procedure?).  Cut a pocket in each reduced chicken breast by slicing in half lengthwise, but don’t slice all the way through.  Divide herb mixture among chicken breast and stuff each pocket.

Spray grill pan with cooking spray.  Arrange chicken pieces on grill or grill pan and cook 6-7 minutes on each side.  While chicken is cooking, add in cherry tomatoes to grill alongisde (these need about 5 to 6 minutes).

Serves 4 to 5

Green Chile Macaroni

(Not Pictured)

    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 1 medium poblano chile, diced
    • 1 red bell pepper, diced
    • 1/2 red onion, diced
    • 1 tbsp minced garlic
    • 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels (can use frozen)
    • 2 cups elbow macaroni, cooked al dente to package directions
    • 2 tbsp salsa verde
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup grated hot pepper Jack cheese
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
    • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the poblano chile, red bell pepper, red onion, and garlic until just tender.  Add in corn kernels and saute quickly.  Add the macaroni, salsa verde, cream, and cheese.  Stir until ingredients are thoroughly mixed.  Add salt and pepper to taste

Pour macaroni into casserole dish and top with bread crumbs.  Spray light layer of cooking spray and bake in pre-heated oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until bread crumbs turn golden.

Serves 6 to 8

Shortcut: Buy minced garlic in a jar if you don’t have time to press fresh.  This is probably one of the best time-saving tips since minced garlic is such a common ingredient.

Note to Self: Cheap IKEA grill pan=awesome, cheap IKEA grater=worthless.

2 Responses to “Lean and Mean Grilling (Grilled Herb Stuffed Chicken & Green Chile Macaroni)”

  1. Mike 08/22/2006 at 8:43 am #

    Mmm…Mmm…looks delicious…

  2. donnaaries 12/08/2007 at 9:44 am #

    Since there’s no photo of the green chile macaroni in the original recipe post, I thought I’d share one now. Unfortunately my better half took a bite before I grabbed the camera!
    If you’re preparing this for a potluck (and have access to an oven at the party location), stop at the step where you pour the macaroni/cheese/veggie mixture into the casserole dish. Bring bread crumbs in a zip lock bag with the casserole and do the last step at the potluck so that the bread crumbs don’t get all soggy. I like this dish for a potluck because I can do everything (except the bread crumb part, obviously) the night before and it really doesn’t affect the finished product.

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