Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Stuffed Chicken Caprese

A delicious packed with flavor chicken breast marinated in a delicious lemon and olive oil mixture then stuffed with fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes, then crispy on the outside yet moist on the inside. A comfort dish that everyone will love. Garlic bread and a big salad on the side and this will soon become a favorite in your household. Enjoy!!!

4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
• Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• Salt
Cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, not bottled 
1 teaspoon lemon zest
4 ripe grape or cherry tomatoes  sliced ¼” or thinner
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
16 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick or thinner (from an 8 oz ball or log)
16 large, fresh basil leaves
12 toothpicks
½ cup flour
2 eggs
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning

1. Preheat the oven to 400°, and line a baking sheet with foil.
2. Prepare the chicken breasts by butterflying each breast, being careful not to cut all the way through (you want to end up with a thinner, flatter chicken breast); place each butterflied chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound the chicken out with a mallet to about ¼” thickness; place the chicken breasts into a bowl, and add a drizzle of olive oil, the garlic, a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, the lemon juice and zest, and marinate the chicken for about 15-20 minutes.
3. Next, place the thinly sliced grape tomatoes into a small dish, and add to them the balsamic vinegar and a pinch or two of salt and pepper, and allow them to marinate while the chicken marinates.
4. To prepare the chicken, place one marinaded chicken breast in front of you, vertically; giving yourself about a ½” border at the bottom, begin by adding 2 of the fresh basil leaves, then 2 slices of the fresh mozzarella cheese, next 4 slices of the marinated tomato, then another 2 basil leaves and finally 2 more slices of mozzarella onto the chicken; starting at the bottom, fold the chicken over the ingredients, gently rolling upward until wrapped; place 2-3 toothpicks through the seam at angles to secure the filling and to keep the chicken held together, and place it onto a clean plate to hold; repeat the process with all four chicken breasts.
5. To bread the chicken, add the flour into a medium-size bowl; add the eggs into a another medium-size bowl, and whisk well; add the panko breadcrumbs, the grated parmesan, the Italian seasoning and a pinch of cracked black pepper into another medium-size bowl, and toss to combine; gently dredge each chicken breast in the flour, then in the eggs and finally in the panko-parmesan mixture, and set aside on the plate while you heat your oil.
6. To fry, add enough olive oil to a large heavy-bottom pan or skillet for a shallow fry, about 1/2-1 cup and place over medium-high heat; once the oil is hot, add in 2 of the rolled and breaded chicken breasts seam-side down, and cook until golden-brown and crispy, about 2 minutes per side (about 8 minutes total); remove from oil and place onto a paper towel-lined plate, and repeat the process with the remaining two breasts; to finish the chicken, add the fried breasts to the foil-lined baking sheet, and place into the oven for about 4-5 minutes, until completely cooked through and the cheese is melted and gooey, then remove toothpicks and serve..

recipe from adapted slightly:http://thecozyapron.com/cozy-chicken-crispy-caprese-a-new-dish-to-accompany-a-new-phase-o

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