Cooking on the Fly (Sundried Tomato & Basil Stuffed Chicken)

21 Aug

I normally get my cooking inspirations from a dish at a restaurant, a demo station at Whole Foods or Central Market, or from a recipe.  When cooking for myself, I don’t mind making up a recipe as I go since I am the only potential victim to my failures.  I never do that for dinner parties, that is until last night when, due to the rushed weekend schedule and complete lack of preparation, I made dinner for four on the fly.

What’s a girl to do?  I had frozen chicken tenders and a giant bunch of fresh basil my mom brought me on her previous visit.  Something with chicken and basil, perhaps?

At least my fridge was fully stocked from successful weekend grocery trips.  The features of the night were sundried tomato & basil stuffed chicken, roasted asparagus with shallots, French bread (I had a half loaf of homemade French bread leftover from mom’s visit) with olive oil and balsamic vinegar dipping sauce, and a bottle of 2005 Texas Tasting Three Step from Texoma Winery.

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The trimmed asparagus and quartered shallots are doused in olive oil and seasonings (whatever spices you like, just make sure to add some salt and pepper) and join the chicken for the last 5 minutes in the oven.

Sundried Tomato & Basil Stuffed Chicken

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8 chicken tenders
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, packed
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese (actually mozzarella would probably be better, but Swiss was what I had)
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan
16 toothpicks, soaked in water for at least 15 minutes
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425.

Place chicken between two sheets of wax paper or plastic wrap and pound flat(about 1/8″ thick) with mallet. 

In food processor, combine sundried tomatoes (all except a just a few pieces for garnish) and basil leaves and coarsely chop.  In a small bowl, combine Swiss (or mozzarella) with tomato basil mixture.

Scoop out 2 tbsp of cheese tomato basil mixture and place on end of one piece of flat chicken, roll chicken up tightly, squeezing the stuffing though each rolled layer (like a tortilla roll up, but with chicken).  Secure with toothpicks on two ends.  Repeat with remaining chicken tenders and place all in a baking dish.  Sprinkle the chicken pieces with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake chicken for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle chicken with Parmesan cheese and garnish with reserved pieces of sundried tomato.  Return to oven for 3-5 more minutes.

Serves 4

The pink color on the chicken is actually a result of color bleeding from the sundried tomatoes.  At first I was shocked to see that the chicken was still pink (undercooked) after 20 minutes in the oven, but then quickly realized what was actually going on.

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2 Responses to “Cooking on the Fly (Sundried Tomato & Basil Stuffed Chicken)”

  1. SJB 09/13/2009 at 5:51 pm #

    I tried this with mozzarella and added some tomatoes to the stuffing–kind of a Chicken Caprese!

  2. steph 06/24/2013 at 6:42 pm #

    I made it with ricotta cheese (leftover in the fridge) not bad! Had a lot of the stuffing left so i put it in a bellpepper. Om nom nom! Thanks for the recipe.

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