Monday, September 19, 2005

Mushroom and Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts

In an effort to get more involved in cooking (Because, as the "Friends of Tiffy" can attest, since moving into an apartment with a tee-tiny kitchen my usual abundant desire to cook has fallen by the wayside) I've decided to start experimenting with recipes again to much delight and exclamation from TheBoy.

My goal is at least once a week.* And I mean experiment. Like with a particular type of food I've never cooked before. Or with no recipe what-so-ever. Or anything to do with baking. Cause y'all know me with the baking.

Last night's meal fell into the "no recipe" category (I had the ingredients on hand and didn't have to make a grocery store run) but I'm going to attempt to re-create it here. While it's still fresh in my head. Because I hate it when I experiment with a recipe and don't write it down. I can never seem to make it the same way twice!

Mushroom and Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breasts

4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
1/4 pound of crimini mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
8 oz fresh mozzarella, shredded or small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
~ 1 tbsp Thyme, dried or fresh
4 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

To make the filling:
Melt 3 tbsp of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Saute until mushrooms become tender and liquid has evaporated. Transfer mixture to a small bowl and add cheese. Combine.

To stuff the chicken breasts:
Place 1 chicken breast on a cutting board with the smooth side of the breast facing up. Make an incision along the thickest side of the breast leaving approximately 1" on either side. You can make the pocket as deep as you like being careful not to slice all the way through. Repeat with remaining breasts. Salt and pepper.

Take roughly 1/4 of the filling mixture and stuff into the pocket. Some filling will be exposed on the side. Transfer stuffed breasts to a shallow, greased baking pan. Divide remaining 1 tbsp butter into 1/4 and place a tab on top of each breast.

Bake uncovered in a 375 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until done.

I served mine atop a bed of collard greens that had been sauted in butter and garlic with a calabrese salad and pesto crescent rolls. Even TheBoy, who declares all chicken dishes "boring", thought this was wonderful.

Some changes I might make to the next version:

- Lemon juice in the mushroom garlic mixture.
- Provolone or some other stronger flavored cheese

Anyway, I know this isn't a very exciting post. Next time I'll try to remember to take photos so at least y'all can see the step by step and the finished plated product. At least the idea of blogging about my adventures has increased my desire to cook again right?

*Attempts to require TheBoy to cook once a week haven't gone over quite as well as planned but I'll keep y'all posted.

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