Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breast Stuffed with Mozzarella Cheese and Basil

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breast Stuffed with Mozzarella Cheese and Basil

Let’s face it. Chicken breast, even on its best day, can be a little boring. Sure it’s can be delicious in some cases – breaded and fried, slow roasted with the bone in and skin on – are a few preparations that come to mind. But on it’s own, chicken breast doesn’t cut it for me. What does cut it for me is a chicken breast that has been stuffed with mozzarella and basil and wrapped in prosciutto.

Not only are mozzarella, basil and prosciutto a fabulous flavor combination, but the fat in the mozzarella and prosciutto also help keep the chicken moist throughout the cooking process.

The end product is far from dry and has the perfect mixture of saltiness from the prosciutto. Stuffing a chicken breast can seem intimidating, but actually, this process was extremely easy. All you do is take a chicken breast, cut it through the middle until it is nearly cut through, and open it up so it lays flat like a pancake (otherwise known as butterflying). If you are anxious about doing this (but don’t be!), you can also have your butcher do this for you. Once the chicken has been butterflied and seasoned with salt and peeper, you add your cheese of choice (blue cheese, brie, manchego and mozzarella are all great choices) and then top with a few leaves of fresh basil.

Once you have stuffed the chicken, you then simply place the cut half back on top of the bottom part of the breast.

Don’t worry if the stuffing is sticking out slightly, as mine is above. The prosciutto will cover it so that you avoid any melting in the pan or grill.

You can count on using about 2 pieces of thinly sliced prosciutto to cover each chicken breast completely. When you cook the chicken, the prosciutto will get slightly crisp and is a nice textural contrast to the tender chicken.

I served this chicken with kale chips (what else is new) and a fabulous sweet potato gratin (recipe coming soon) for a well-rounded, healthy weeknight meal!

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken Breast Stuffed with Mozzarella Cheese and Basil – Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 6-8 ounce portions of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
  • 4 ounces prosciutto
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • S+P to taste
  • Oil for pan frying

Directions

Butterfly chicken breasts and sprinkle the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Lay 2-3 slices of mozzarella cheese on the chicken breast. Follow with a couple of leaves of basil. Make sure you don’t overstuff the chicken, or you won’t be able to roll it back up. Once you have added the mozzarella and basil, place the top half of the breast on top. Sprinkle the outside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Wrap each chicken breast with two slices of prosciutto so that it it is completely covered. Note, I think it is easiest for cooking the chicken if the prosciutto is wrapped in such a way that the ends, or seams, are on the same side of the breast.

Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken BreastIn a large, heavy set pan (cast iron or stainless steal is best), heat about 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken with the prosciutto seam side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the prosciutto starts to brown and you can easily loosen it from the pan. Cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continuing cooking the chicken, flipping occasionally, until it is completely cooked through or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Allow to sit for 1-2 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute and enjoy!

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Dill Chicken with Tomato-Dill Relish

Dill Chicken with Tomato-Dill Relish

This recipe came from the September 2009 issue of Gourmet and I made some slight modifications to accommodate my personal tastes. The recipe calls for making a relish; which means mixing some ingredients and serving cold [or room temp]. I preferred to have tomatoes slightly sautéed, so put the relish into a pan and worked it for two minutes to get it warm.

Another variation is I left out the grained mustard, since my wife simply doesn’t like mustard. I would include the mustard to give it just a bit more flavor.

To prepare the chicken you can either use your BBQ or you can use the stove. I used the stove method because I was out of charcoal – of all the things. Nevertheless, the stove method works as well. I have a pan with grill slates on the bottom and I sear on each side for 2 minutes then bake at 500 for 6 minutes. The original recipe called for grilling on the BBQ, however, I will show you the stove method.

Ingredients

  • 4 (6-oz) skinless boneless chicken breasts halves.
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ chopped dill
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes – quartered

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 500° F.
  2. Pound the chicken to ¼ inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap with a meat pounder (flat side).
  3. Salt and pepper the chicken on both sides
  4. Whisk together the olive oil, dill, shallot, white-wine vinegar and grainy mustard.
  5. Cut your cherry tomatoes into quarters and place in a bowl. Add ¼ cup the relish to the tomatoes.
  6. With the remainder of the relish, spread over the chicken on both sides.
  7. Cook the chicken in a skillet for 2 minutes per side.
  8. Then place the chicken (in the skillet) into the oven and bake for 6 minutes or until just done.
  9. Meanwhile, if you want to heat your relish like I did, place the relish in a pan and sauté for 2 minutes.
  10. When the chicken is done, place each breast onto a plate and garnish with the relish.
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Chicken Tomato Basil

Chicken Tomato Basil

Here is a quick recipe that will take your boring chicken night to the next level. This recipe comes from Chef Ramsey’s The “F” Word that aired on Wednesday and combines frying the chicken to seal in the flavor then baking to finish it off.

Rather than the sauces you may have seen in prior recipes on this site, this takes some simple ingredients [shallots, garlic, basil, and tomatoes] and tops the chicken during the baking process. The mozzarella cheese tops the whole ordeal to hold it together.

You will notice that the ingredient list does not show exact measurements. Well for one I jotted down this recipe from the show and has not been posted on the site [The “F” Word], and I think we are getting to the point, if you have been following this blog, where we cook by feel more than by measurements. Except for baking! Yep baking takes precise measurements.

So back to the chicken.

Ingredients

  • Skinned, boned chicken breast
  • Flour
  • Egg wash (two eggs beaten)
  • Bread crumbs
  • Olive oil
  • Shallots chopped
  • Garlic chopped
  • Basil rough chopped
  • Cherry tomatoes quartered
  • Mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°.
  2. Clean your chicken breasts and butterfly them to make them cook more evenly. Alternatively you can pound the chicken flat.
  3. Run the chicken through the flour and dust off the excess. Coat the chicken in the egg wash. Then run it through the bread crumbs. Salt and pepper.
  4. In a skillet on medium heat, add some olive oil to the pan and place the chicken in the pan. Sear the chicken on both sides, then put on a plate and set a side. The chicken will not be fully cooked through yet.
  5. In a skillet on medium-high heat, add olive oil, garlic and shallots. Cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the basil and tomatoes. Cook down for about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Put the chicken (you set aside) on a baking sheet. Place the tomato basil mixture on top of the chicken. Slice the mozzarella cheese and put on top of the tomato basil mixture. (Your building a creation here).
  7. Bake for 8-9 minutes until the chicken is done. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let rest for 3 minutes.
  8. Plate up.
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