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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tuscany Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Everytime I decide to try stuffing chicken breasts I end up cursing myself, "WHY WHY WHY did I feel the need to torture myself with this recipe??" Stuffed chicken breasts are finicky and annoying. But sometimes, the end result turns out to be well worth the effort.

In the recipe book I found this in, the picture was amazing. The cheese was oozing out from the center of the nicely browned and perfectly rolled chicken breast. The recipe didn't even call for string or skewers or duct tape to hold it together while cooking, just "roll and pinch the edges to seal" (YEAH RIGHT!!). I had to tie each of my chicken breasts up with about 18 feet of string, they looked like little chicken breast mummies, and STILL most of my cheese leeked out into the wine I was trying to poach them in (made the sauce taste real good though).

I think part of my problem may be in the hammering/pounding of the chicken breasts, maybe I go a little overboard with the meat mallet. All I know is when I'm done I do not end up with a nice thin INTACT piece of chicken breast to neatly roll around a filling of my choice, but rather a pulverized, holey mess of chicken that I have to patchwork together around my filling and plug holes and try to tie up with my greasy chickeny gross slippery hands.... grrrr. At one point, when Mario heard me huffing and puffing he came over to ask if I needed some help and he came REALLY close to getting a pulverized chicken breast right between the eyes!

Then, I purposely left the sage out of one of the chicken breasts from hell for the kids, but got them mixed them up and gave the sageless one to Mario by mistake. To top it all off, my kids declared them "yucky" and, I officially lost my mind.... "yeah? yeah? well if you don't eat that, I'm not gonna be your friend anymore!!"

Did I mention this recipe tasted really good?

Tuscany Stuffed Chicken Breasts
from the New Dieters Cookbook from Better Homes and Gardens

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 oz fontina cheese (in four slices)
1/2 cup roasted red peppers cut into strips
12 fresh sage leaves
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups dry white wine

1. Place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4" thickness.

2. Remove plastic wrap add a slice of cheese, red pepper, sage. Fold in sides (if can find sides) and roll up (good luck with that). Don't feel bad if you have to resort to string to keep this sorry mess intact.

3. Repeat with remaining breasts (tee hee, I said "breasts").

4. Roll in flour, and cook in olive oil over medium heat until brown on all sides (about 5 minutes). Remove from pan.

5. Add wine and bring to a boil, let reduce slightly. Add chicken back to pan, cover and poach until chicken is cooked through (about 8-10 more minutes).

6. Remove chicken again, and turn heat up. Reduce sauce until about 1/2 cup remains.

7. Serve chicken with a little sauce drizled over top (don't forget to remove the string!)