Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cheesy basil stuffed chicken

Basil is my new fave.  Maybe it's not new, I've been loving the crap out of it all summer.  But I never knew how much I really loved it until this dish.  It's straight up basil much basil and garlic flavor I could burst! I absolutely adored this chicken, Justin cleaned his plate but wasn't begging for more. To each his own I guess...
I wouldnt say this is the healthiest chicken breast I've ever prepared but it's under 350 calories per breast so if you add a veggie for a side, it's not horrible either.  Did I say that this is packed with BASIL and GARLIC flavor??  I did...ok, just didn't want you to miss out on that tidbit!

1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese (I used shredded mexican 2% cheese because it's what I had in the fridge)
1/4 cup minced fresh basil (this is my new fave product instead of keeping fresh basil around when I don't have my planter growing on the deck)
2 T heavy cream (I used fat free half and half since I had it leftover in the fridge and refuse to use heavy cream in any recipe)
1 T lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I only had 3 so I stuffed 'em full)
3 T mayo (I always use fat free)
1 cup plain bread crumbs
2 T olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes (I cut up 2 small tomatoes since I didn't have any cherry tomatoes)

I know this seems like a lot of ingredients, but the only thing I didn't have laying around was the mozzerella, and my substitution worked just fine! Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded cheese, minced basil, cream, lemon juice, and minced garlic.

Cut a pocket in the chicken breasts and stuff them with the cheese mixture, sealing with toothpicks if needed. Transfer the chicken to the baking dish and spread evenly with the fat free mayo.

In your mixing bowl (I used the same one I used for the stuffing mixture so I had less dishes at the end), combine the bread crumbs, 1 T olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle crumb mixture over chicken, pressing lightly to adhere. Toss tomatoes with remaining T of olive oil, 1/2 t salt and 1/2 t pepper and arrange them in the baking dish on top and surrounding the chicken cutlets.

Bake until the crumbs are golden brown and chickn is cooked through (internal temp of 160 if using a thermometer) which took me about 25 minutes.

After you stop drooling from looking at your plate and smelling all the flavors, dig on in! Doesn't look so pretty but sure did taste beautiful :)

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