Saturday, January 12, 2013

Week Two Recipe: Healthy Chicken Breast

After last week's cookie splurge I thought I'd try a more healthy recipe for this week.  We all know that chicken is good for us, but it seems difficult to add flavor without adding fattening sauces, or breading, or frying, or cheese.  You know, all the things that make chicken worth eating!  I stumbled across this recipe for a stuffed chicken breast and despite the less than appealing photo thought I would give it a try.

This originally came from  Click here for the recipe.  I'm also posting the recipe here because on the website it lists additional versions of stuffing, but then lumps it into the same recipe.

  • boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (1-1 1/4 pounds total)
  • egg white
  • 1/2 cup
    plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons
    extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons
    reduced-fat cream cheese, Neufchatel
  • 1 tablespoon

    basil pesto, store-bought or homemade
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Combine cream cheese, pesto and pepper in a small bowl with a fork.
  3. Cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of a chicken breast half, nearly through to the opposite side. Open up each breast and place one-fourth of the filling in the center. Close the breast over the filling, pressing the edges firmly together to seal. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts and filling.
  4. Lightly beat egg white with a fork in a medium bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow glass dish. Hold each chicken breast half together and dip in the egg white, then dredge in the breadcrumbs. (Discard leftovers.)
  5. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts; cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Place the chicken, browned-side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center or until an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F, about 20 minutes.
Surprisingly, this chicken is delicious!  That tablespoon of pesto added a lot of flavor.  Heres' what mine turned out like: 

A few of things to note:
1. I used panko instead of regular breadcrumbs
2. Notice I have no cream cheese/pesto oozing out of my chicken.  By following the recipe 2 tablespoons of cream cheese and 1 tablespoon of pesto does not make enough filling to ooze out of your chicken.  Either they meant "per breast" or they used the worlds smallest chicken breasts in their photo.  
3. Each breast weighed about 7 oz. and  needed about 10 minutes more cooking time.  

This recipe is definitely going in the regular meal rotation!

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