Sunday, April 21, 2013

Easy Cheese and Mushroom-Stuffed Chicken

It seems like everybody is looking for quick and easy dinner ideas. Here's one of my favorites - Cheese and Mushroom-Stuffed Chicken!

You'll have to touch raw chicken, but somehow, I think you'll live.

Madeleine Dee's Easy Cheese and Mushroom-Stuffed Chicken
Serves 2-3 (2 if the cook happens to devour the third while preparing dinner...)

1.5 to 1.75 lbs. raw chicken breasts (about 3 individual breasts)
1 cup mushrooms, sauteed w/ salt, pepper, garlic, & lemon zest
1 generous cup shredded cheese (mozzarella, mild cheddar...)
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil cooking spray
1 cup breadcrumbs (I use roasted garlic ones)
2-3 large eggs
Aluminum foil
Fresh parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat your oven to 35O*F. Lay your chicken breasts on a clean plastic cutting board (never use a wooden board when handling raw proteins) and trim off the fat and various other "icky" parts. Be sure each breast is equally sized for even cooking.

2. With a sharp knife, slice evenly into the side of each breast to make a pouch. Do not cut through the other side or through the still-connected ends.

3. Stand your chicken breasts up so that the pouch you just created forms a boat. Yes, a chicken boat. Best kind of boat if you ask me. Now that you've got your chicken standing up with flat bottoms and open tops, season liberally with salt and pepper, then fill the breasts with cheese and top with the sauteed mushrooms.

4. Get out two medium-sized bowls and fill one with your breadcrumbs and the other with your eggs.

5. Beat the eggs well, then use your hand to coat only the chicken (you don't need to worry about the filling).

6. Shake off the excess egg and coat the chicken lightly with breadcrumbs.

7. Shake off the excess breadcrumbs and gently transfer the chicken breasts to a large, greased, foil-lined baking pan.

8. Top with some extra cheese. Be messy about it.

9. Spray liberally with olive oil cooking spray, sprinkle with salt and pepper,  and bake at 350*F for 35-40 minutes, or until cooked through. I won't judge you if you cut into a breast to make sure there's no pink left, then eat all of it.

When finished, your chicken should look like this.

This chicken goes very well with pretty much anything. Below, I served it with white wine risotto, mushrooms, and sugar snap peas.

And you know what's super awesome? When you got all messy with that final cheese sprinkling, the cheese made thin, crispy sheets out of itself in the bottom of the baking dish. (!) They can (and should) be used to garnish your chicken.

Enjoy, my dears! :)

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Executive Chef and Owner of No Place Like Home in Louisville, KY. Writer, actress, chef, professional cook and professional eater.