December 16, 2015

Italian Stuffed Chicken with Lemon Crumb Topping


For my recent wedding, I was looking for wooden slabs for the middle of each table.  To my surprise, wood slabs are A LOT more expensive than I thought - if you're looking for anything over 6" diameter, they can be at least $10 each!  Using my trusty Facebook page, I was able to find a friend who was actually slicing real wood slabs from a tree for a different wedding, and he said he'd cut some for me too.  All that was required from me was a delicious meal.  When I started thinking about different dishes I could make, I experimented with this one, and it came out great!  The sopressata and cheese are both salty, the arugula adds an element of spice, and the lemon crumb topping rounds this dish out with a touch of sweetness and crunch.   Perfect for a night with some creamy mashed potatoes and a light salad.  Enjoy!

What You'll Need:
  • 4 chicken breasts, about 1/2 pound each
  • 12 slices sopressata, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound sharp provolone cheese, cut in 2-ounce logs
  • Handful of arugula
  • Salt, pepper, paprika
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

1.  Using a very sharp paring knife, carefully insert the knife in the top part of the breast, not to go through the bottom, to make a deep pocket.  Using your fingers, spread the pocket to make stuffing it easy.

2.   Lay three slices of sopressata on your work space in vertical line.  Lay cheese at the bottom, then a few sprigs of arugula on top, as the photo shows.  Roll sopressata around cheese to make a log to stuff into the chicken.  Repeat three more times to make one for each chicken breast.  Stuff into the pockets you made in your chicken, as far down as you can. 

3.  Season breasts liberally with salt, pepper, and paprika.  Using kitchen twine or toothpicks, secure the ends of the breasts closed, and brush with olive oil.  Lay on a greased baking sheet and bake on 375 degrees for 30 minutes, until there is about 5 minutes left of cook time.

4.  Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients until panko is coated with butter, and everything is incorporated.  When the chicken has been in for 30 minutes, remove and cover with panko crumble.  Return to the oven, and broil for a remaining 5 minutes, until crumble becomes golden brown.  Remove from oven and let rest for 3-5 minutes.  Slice chicken and enjoy!










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