Stuffed Italian Chicken Breasts (Gluten Free)

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Stuffed chicken breast, with amazing flavors…when you want something a little extra special. I love Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Kiev and stuffed roasted chicken. This one has a bit more intense and robust flavors, garlic, onion, basil, tomatoes, and Pecorino cheese. You could use a jarred marinara if you prefer, but this sauce has amazing complex flavors. It will take a little more work, but definitely worth the extra time and energy required! Don’t skimp on the butter, because it’s what’s  needed to brown the outside to a nice golden brown color. 

~Laura

Stuffed Italian Chicken Breast (Gluten Free)

Makes 3-4 servings

Prep time: 35-45 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes at 400 degrees, 5-8 minutes at 400 degrees to brown


Rice Stuffing:


1 cup cooked rice, Valencia,  long grain white, Arborio, or brown rice
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 large onion  (1/2 cup) minced fine
3 large cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 tablespoon butter
2 -3 large Crimini mushrooms, sliced thin and cut in halves

2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 T chopped basil leaves
1 T Italian parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Sauté the onion in a small skillet in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and stir for a minute. Remove to a plate. Melt the butter and brown the mushroom slices. Remove to a plate. Sauté the tomato pieces. Add remaining olive oil, cooked rice, mushrooms, onion and garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary. Stir together. Turn the burner off and set aside. Add more salt and pepper to taste.


Stuffed Chicken Breasts:


6 or 8 skewers, 5 ” long
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Rice Stuffing (recipe above)

1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons pesto, homemade or purchased, gluten free
½ – 1 tablespoon butter, divided, for top of chicken

To prepare:

Pound each chicken breast on a cutting board, covered with cellophane, using a mallet, until roughly 3/8” thick and roughly 4 ½” x 6”. They may be slightly larger or smaller depending on the chicken breast size, but making them roughly the same size will allow them to cook through at the same time.

Set the flattened chicken breasts on a large plate or platter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Spread ½ – 1 teaspoon pesto on each chicken piece, leaving a half inch to the edge without any pesto.

Add 1/4 – 1/3 cup of the rice stuffing.

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Sprinkle a third or fourth of the Pecorino cheese over the rice stuffing.

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To roll, fold in the edges of the chicken, while rolling to cover the stuffing. Skewer through the chicken several times near one end, like sewing, then into the other end to seal closed. Repeat with a second skewer starting on the other end.

Set on a buttered or greased baking sheet or cast iron skillet. Place a pat of butter on each piece.  Repeat for remaining pieces of chicken. Salt and pepper the outside lightly.

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Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, then increase temp to 425 and bake for 5- 8 minutes more, until chicken is lightly browned.
Remove skewers and place chicken on a platter or individual plates to serve. Top with heated sauce and additional Pecorino Romano cheese.

 

For Serving:

Marinara Sauce (recipe below or 1 1/4 cups of jarred marinara sauce)
2 – 3 tablespoons of Pecorino Romano for top


Marinara Sauce: 

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/8 cup minced onion
3/8 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
2 mushrooms, sliced thin and chopped small

1/2 tablespoon butter
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth, gluten free
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, gluten free 
1 – 2 tablespoons heavy cream, optional

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet or small saucepan and sauté garlic for 30 seconds on low heat. Remove the garlic to a plate.  Add the onion and salt and sauté over medium low heat. Remove to the same plate as the garlic. Brown the mushrooms in butter. Add the diced tomatoes to the mushrooms and cook down for a few minutes. Add the wine, broth and water, basil, and add the onion and garlic back in. Simmer the sauce for 15 minutes on low heat.Turn off until your chicken is almost done. Reheat over low heat. If sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water. Turn off the burner and add the cream and stir in. Pour a quarter of the sauce over each chicken piece and sprinkle with remaining Pecorino cheese.

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