If your man is like mine, and aren’t they all pretty much the same? Well, my guy gets bored with constantly eating chicken. I have to admit (but I’d never admit it to him)…it can get pretty boring. For whatever reason, he never seems to get bored eating beef burritos. If he could, he’d eat some kind of beef burrito every night of the week. But then, I’d have to listen to him bitch at me that he didn’t fit into his pants anymore and while he’s sitting at his desk the waistband was too tight blah blah blah. Of course, somehow this would be my fault.
So when he finds that we’re having stuffed chicken breasts I never hear any complaints. I might be because it contains two of his favorite food groups – cheese and bacon.
This is another really easy recipe, and if you need to make something for a dinner with a bunch of people I highly recommend this. Just make sure you are aware if there is anyone that doesn’t eat pork. (This will help to avoid major embarrassment – but the dish can be made without the bacon. I just like the salty smoky flavor it gives the dish.) Once you make this the first time, you’ll realize that you can make a bunch of variations on this basic recipe. It’s a good recipe to use up leftover vegetables, fresh herbs, sun dried tomatoes, or roasted peppers.
I serve this with a small salad on the same plate as the chicken. The extra balsamic vinegar used on the chicken, is then gets used on the salad for dressing. But you could also do roasted potatoes and use the balsamic as a dressing on those as well. And then you only have one plate to clean up.
This recipe serves 2, but is easily doubled…tripled…you get the idea
- 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Pieces Cooked Center Cut Bacon(Thick Bacon) – Applewood Smoked is Perfect for this
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 4 Tablespoons Goat Cheese
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Herbs de Provence
- 1 Clove Garlic Finely Minced
- 1 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley (Optional)
- 1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries
- 2 (6-ounce) Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- Olive Oil – For Brushing on Top of Chicken
Pour balsamic vinegar into small saucepan and over medium heat reduce vinegar by half. To tell when the vinegar is done, it should coat the back of a metal spoon and when you drag your finger through it, the line you made should stay. Remove vinegar from heat and set aside.
In a small bowl add goat cheese, herbs de provence, minced garlic, dried cranberries, and parsley. Mix thoroughly using a fork and set aside.
For the stuffed chicken, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over your cutting board and tucking the ends under ends of the board. Place one chicken breast on the covered cutting board and season with salt and pepper. Place a second piece of plastic wrap over the chicken and flatten the chicken using a meat mallet or heavy skillet. Pound the chicken thin (to 1/4″ – 3/8″ thick). Set aside first pounded piece of chicken. Do the same thing with the second chicken breast, using new plastic wrap.
Peel off one layer of plastic wrap from each breast and spoon 1/2 of the cheese mixture onto the breast 1/2″ from the end and sides. Lay bacon slices next to the cheese. (This is where you could also insert asparagus, oil packed sun dried tomatoes, or roasted peppers) Roll each breast tightly (do not keep the plastic wrap on the chicken.). If you need to, you can secure the breasts with toothpicks. Then place seam side down in square baking pan. Brush tops with olive oil and roast in oven for about 30-35 minutes.
Remove the toothpicks, if you used any. Slice the chicken roll to show the pretty insides. Place on serving plate and spoon reduced balsamic vinegar over top of chicken.