Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pimiento Cheese & Broccoli Stuffed Chicken

My last few blog posts have all started the same way - "My friend Jourdan..." - and this one is no different - have you visited her blog yet? Jourdan turned me on to a great website, Eating Well, filled with easy, healthy recipes. In fact, it even gives you the nutritional breakdown for the meals (calorie count, fat, sugar, etc.)! How awesome is that? I had some free time the other day so I perused the website, making note of all the recipes I wanted to try. "Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Pimiento Cheese" was one of them. (*For my fellow journalism friends out there, I couldn't stand the passive voice in the title, so I changed it!)

This recipe was quite easy to make, though it was a little daunting to stuff a chicken breast for the first time, and I think I overstuffed them a bit, considering how much poured out the sides in the oven! Oh well, they were super yummy and at 200 calories each not too bad on my waistline! My grocery store didn't carry scallions, so I opted to add broccoli instead and it was just perfect. Add a side of mustard-roasted potatoes and extra broccoli and you've got a great meal. :)

In case you were wondering, as usual, John "mm'd" throughout the meal and told me to add this to "the rotation" of meals. When I commented that he says that every time I try something new, he told me "make something bad and I won't say it!" :)

Pimiento Cheese & Broccoli Stuffed Chicken
Recipe by Eating Well
Yields 2 stuffed chicken breasts
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*2 chicken breasts (original recipe calls for 4)
*1/2 cup shredded gouda cheese
*1 tablespoon diced pimientos (these can be tricky to find - I found mine near the olives and pickles and I've included a picture below to help you!)
*2 tablespoons diced broccoli
*1/2 teaspoon paprika, divided
*1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
*1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
*1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


*Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.

*Combine cheese, pimientos, broccoli and 1/4 teaspoon paprika in a small bowl.

*Cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of each chicken breast, nearly through to the opposite side, and open like a book. Sprinkle the breasts with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

*Divide the cheese filling among the breasts, placing it in the center of each. Close the breast over the filling, pressing the edges firmly together to seal. Sprinkle the breasts with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

*Add the chicken to the heated skillet and cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Turn the chicken over and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, about 15 minutes, depending on how large your chicken breasts are.

*Serve with sides and enjoy!

The pimientos!

My cheese mixture

The slit in my first chicken breast.

The stuffed chicken breast.

Browning both sides - stuffing already leaking!

Closer up view of the chicken with the stuffing falling out. Mmmm :)

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