What do you call a chicken that crossed the road?
Poultry in motion.
Ahhahhaa! (Just so you know, I can hear you all groaning right now.) Okay, I apologize for the dumb joke, but it’s Monday and I have writer’s block. I’ve been sitting here for what feels like an eternity trying to figure out what I wanted to tell you about this chicken recipe and I just keep coming back to this joke. So that’s my excuse.
Alright, enough of that nonsense, here’s what I really want to tell you about this chicken: it’s delicious! And although it looks fancy, it’s much easier to make than it would appear. Butterflying a cut of meat is a simple skill that every home cook should know, and one that I’ll teach you how to do in this post. But best of all, these chicken breasts can be stuffed with a variety of fillings, opening you up to limitless dinner possibilities once you master this easy technique. So practice up, friends, because closer to the holidays I’ll be posting a stuffed pork loin recipe that is so festive and delicious, it will make you rethink roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving this year.
Artichoke Stuffed Chicken
- 4 (6-ounce) chicken breasts
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 (6 ounce) jar of unmarinated artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp plain bread crumbs
- kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- cooking twine, cut into 12 (6-inch) strips and 4 (12-inch) strips
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, artichoke hearts, garlic, and bread crumbs, and mix to combine. Set aside.
Butterfly chicken breasts: First, lay the breast flat on a cutting board with the smooth side down. Using a sharp knife, cut away the small piece of meat that’s attached to the larger breast, called the “tender.” Set tender aside and freeze for another use (like Parmesan Chicken Cutlets).
Turn breast over. With your knife, begin slicing the breast in half horizontally, almost to the outer edge, keeping the edge intact. Repeat with remaining breasts.
Open the breast like you would a book, and lay it flat.
Place butterflied breast on a piece of plastic wrap and top with a second piece of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet, pound chicken all over until you’ve reached an even thickness of about ⅛-inch. Season all over with salt and pepper.
Stuff chicken: At the bottom 3rd of each breast (closest to you), drop 3-4 Tbsp of artichoke mixture. Form mixture into a line running down the center of the breast.
Starting at the long end closest to you, roll chicken breast around artichoke filling, tucking in the short ends. Wrap three 6-inch pieces of cooking twine around the chicken horizontally, spacing evenly, and tie each piece tightly. Using a 12-inch piece of twine, tie it lengthwise around the chicken, securing the open ends. Trim loose ends of twine and continue tying the remaining chicken breasts.
Mist a large, ovenproof skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until brown. Transfer skillet to a preheated oven set to 375°F and bake for 12-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
Carefully remove skillet from oven, transfer chicken to a cutting board, and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. With a pair of kitchen shears, cut twine and remove from chicken.
Slice chicken into 1-inch thick medallions and serve.
Note: Chicken breasts can be stuffed and chilled for up to 4 hours before cooking.
Sidekick: Serve Artichoke Stuffed Chicken with a chilled glass of dry Sauvignon Blanc or a non-oaky Chardonnay.
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