Over Christmas I made, as some have read, artichoke stuffed mushrooms. When I ate them I was inspired to use a similar basis for a stuffed chicken breast.
Which turned out lovely!
It's no secret that artichoke, cheese, and chicken go well together, and I know I'm not the first to craft this idea, but I really enjoyed it anyway. I really like artichoke stuffed chicken, and it made for a really simple, easy meal. We decided it was so tasty that we ate the whole entire two chicken breasts, which was a lot of meat. We served it with (microwaved) broccoli and (stove top) cornbread stuffing (formed into balls with my hands). Jeff was in charge of the stuffing. :)
The chicken we used wasn't uber high quality, I admit, I kept finding veins in it when I was cutting, which is something that always makes me squeemish, and as such even when fully cooked to a safe internal temperature the crust had a 'rosy glow'. Neither Jeff nor I got sick from it, so I'm sure it was safe, and it did lean to a pretty picture (even if somewhat strange).
The breadcrumbs and pepper left a nice texture. They gave it a bit of crunch. I feel like this would be really yummy with a light lemon cream sauce, which I'm still in the works of making. Once I make it, I'll repost it so that the whole recipe is up here. It's not that it needs it-- this is quite delicious on it's own, and I highly suggest making it as such, but for plating I could see it giving it some colour, and I also think it'd be nice. The chicken was moist, it didn't need to be dipped, but... it just... felt like it should be.
I think if I were to make this a fancy meal I'd serve this over sauteed greenbeans and mushrooms. Maybe a nice quinoa pilaf on the side. But I'm still conisdering that. :) As it is, heck, it's a great yummy meal for anyone to throw together real fast. You could put it together on the weekend and keep it in the fridge to use midweek. After all, you just throw it in the oven and roast it.
Artichoke Stuffed Roast Chicken Breast
2 chicken breasts
1/2 can quartered artichoke hearts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 4 oz container shredded parmesan, romano, and asiago cheeses
1 teaspoon dried parsley
a pinch of nutmeg
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon seasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter, divided in half.
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.
In a small bowl combine artichoke hearts, garlic, cheese, parsley, and nutmeg.
Lay out the chicken breasts and trim. Using a meat hammer, flatten the chicken breasts until very thin, approximately 1/4" thick. Spread cheese mixture, half in each chicken breast, staying about 1/4-1/2" away from the edges. Roll up the chicken breast tightly, trying to contain all the filling, and secure the seam with toothpicks. Repeat with the second chicken breast. Season the outside of the breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place on prepared baking dish, 2" deep, and top each with 1/2 tablespoon of breadcrumbs then 1/2 tablespoon of butter.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until meat has reached 160 degrees. Let rest 5-10 minutes, serve.
To create a browner crust, as I should have done, consider putting the chicken in the oven at a higher temperature (450 or so) for 15 minutes or so, then cover with foil and cook on 350 for the remaining 25-30 minutes or until it reaches 160.