This Tuscan inspired Italian Stuffed Chicken is easy, quick and amazing! Tender chicken paired perfectly with creamy polenta.. a perfect meal.
I have a niece named Kendra.. she’s pretty awesome. She invited me over one night and cooked ME dinner and what she served up was in one word.. AMAZING!! She had used one of the Publix Apron recipes and it had chicken and cheese and some filling that confused yet delighted me and marinara sauce… it made me so happy on so many different levels. As someone who usually is the one cooking, the invite and the time she put into cooking it for me…. well, she’s just a Rockstar!!
Please insert begging HERE… loved the recipe, needed the recipe, HAD TO HAVE THE RECIPE!! See, I am married to her uncle.. aka Big Scary Mike. He is picky, he is critical, he is about beyond impossible to WOW with food. Kendra held in her hand the Golden Ticket of Italian Chicken Dishes. I set forth a master plan that was to include some bartering and (begging) and pleading… HOW COULD SHE KEEP SUCH A RECIPE OUT OF MY GRASP (big dramatic sigh!!!!)… Well, here’s the thing, I got myself all worked up that I would never know the hidden secrets of what the heck I just ate and Kendra turned and gave me the Italian Stuffed Chicken recipe and literally said “Here you go”.
Oh. Ok. So maybe it’s possible that I might have over-reacted and inserted a little more mental drama than was necessary. That happens.
So, I took the liberty of tweaking the recipe just a bit. Not that it needed it, I just like to put my own spin on things.
Italian Stuffed Chicken
You will need:
Three skinless / boneless chicken breasts cut in half length wise
Basil leaves – approx 6
Mozzarella Cheese -8 oz brick
Prosciutto – 6 pieces
24 oz Jar / Homemade marinara sauce
1 tbl canola or vegetable oil
Salt & Pepper
Let me start by saying I hate raw chicken. It’s just so unpleasant. I had to get that out of the way because there’s all sorts of raw chicken handling in this recipe and if I don’t talk through it… it just … blah!!!! Moving on.. Rinse and clean your chicken of all those extra little chicken pieces that hang on. Lay your chicken breast flat on a hard surface and run your knife through the chicken about 1/2 way up in a horizontal direction so you have two thinner pieces but the same length. Wash your hands. Sprinkle each chicken piece with salt, pepper and a good amount of garlic powder. Now, the recipe calls for a piece of prosciutto and a piece of mozzarella cheese to be placed down next.
Heads up, if you happen to be a Walmart shopper, in their deli section where the free standing ‘upgrade’ meat items are, you can find mozzarella cheese sticks wrapped in prosciutto
No, really…. I’ve never used them until tonight and I will say they were perfect. If you have occasion to pick them up, I highly recommend it because I saved a ton of $$ doing it that way. Back to our story.. in the middle of your chicken, place one piece of prosciutto, one slice of mozzarella (or one wrapped stick as previously mentioned cut into 2 pieces) one med/large basil leaf and two sun-dried tomatoes. Now the fun part… roll each chicken piece up and secure it with a toothpick (or seven, depending on how untrained in the fine art of chicken rolling you are). When you have them all secured into cute little raw chicken packages, wash your hands.
In a pan / pot large enough to hold all of your bundles, heat up your oil over medium-high heat. Add in each bundle, seam side down. Cook for 2-4 minutes and then turn over each package until all sides have been cooked. Pour your marinara on top of everything, cover and turn down to a low simmer. Walk away and start laundry.. play with your kids.. clean your bathroom.. take a nap.. this baby can simmer forever. Ok, maybe not ‘forever’ but it technically is ready in 10-15 minutes and we have found that the longer you let it simmer, the more tender and better tasting it is. Don’t go crazy but let’s say at least 30 minutes of cooking is good.. 45 is better.
Uncover and top with another piece of mozzarella. Or don’t. However, I don’t understand or support that line of thinking so yes, cover with another piece of mozzarella. Once melted into yummy, stringy, heavenly goodness.. you are good to eat!!
Now, what to cook with it? You could serve it with pasta, you could do a lemon, Parmesan linguine (I should have thought of THAT earlier, that sounds really good.. lol) .. OR we could step out of our day to day rut of not-so-intriguing side dishes and break out the corn meal. That’s right .. POLENTA!!
I was terrified to try that stuff. It looked like nothing I wanted any part of. But Kendra the Rockstar made it for me so I was going to at least attempt to not appear horrified by the first bite of it. One bite. One tiny, little oh my goodness this is not horrible at all bite. Now, she made her’s with this and that and it was wonderful but when I made dinner to accompany this post I totally forgot to buy the THIS and the THAT so I just decided to wing it and my polenta creation still came out awesome. Apparently, it is pretty difficult to mess polenta up. Good to know.
You will need:
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup corn meal – finely ground
1/4 cup basil – finely chopped
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper
Bring the chicken broth to a boil and while whisking add in your corn meal. Turn down to low and continue whisking for 5-6 minutes. Remove from stove and add in your seasonings, basil and Parmesan cheese. Combine and you’ve got chow time.
Big Scary Mike’s take the first time I made Italian Stuffed Chicken ? Well, let’s just say that I was the Rockstar that night 🙂