Monday, February 18, 2013

Cacciatore Butter Stuffed Chicken

Since getting off the cruise ship, I have done lots and lots of resting...I just seem to fall asleep every few hours and still sleep through the night.  I feel so completely normal this morning that I'm hoping that will not be the case today.  I enjoyed making this dinner last night but then was simply too tired to write the post.  So here it is a little late.

I started by making the cacciatore butter by sauteing finely minced mushrooms, onions, red pepper, garlic and rosemary and finishing the mixture with some tomato paste and red wine.  Once this mixture cooled, it was mashed into unsalted butter with basil and lemon zest.  This butter mixture was placed on thinly pounded chicken breasts, rolled up and breaded.  At this point, each chicken piece was wrapped in plastic wrap and popped in the freezer for a little over an hour.

The frozen breasts went into a pan of hot oil for a quick fry and then were finished off in the oven for 15 minutes.  There was nothing extremely difficult about this recipe, but it should be started early in the day to allow for a couple of different chilling times.

Our side dish was Lemon and Parsley Pasta which was a nice pairing, especially with the lemon in it.

Cacciatore Butter Stuffed Chicken
Makes 4 servings

1 cup diced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons dry red wine
1 stick unsalted butter, cubed and softened (8 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon minced lemon zest
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6-7 ounces each)
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
Canola oil

Mince mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, garlic and rosemary in a food processor.

Saute vegetable mixture in 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, season with salt and pepper, and cook until moisture evaporates, 15 minutes.  Add tomato paste; cook until dry, 2 minutes.  Deglaze pan with wine and cook until dry, 2 minutes.  Transfer mixture to a bowl; cool to room temperature, 15 minutes.

Mash 1 stick butter, vegetable mixture, basil, and zest in a bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Spread filling onto plastic wrap into a 4-inch square; wrap, chill until firm, 30 minutes and quarter.

Pound chicken breasts to 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick, one at a time, inside a resealable plastic bag with 1 teaspoon water, using the smooth side of a mallet.  Place the bag on a kitchen towel to cushion the chicken during pounding.  Avoid pounding breasts too thin to prevent holes or torn edges.

Stuff chicken breasts by placing a quarter of the filling in the center of each pounded breast.  Fold the end of the breast over the filling, tuck in the sides, then continue rolling until the filling is covered.  Tightly wrap the stuffed chicken breast in plastic wrap, then repeat stuffing and wrapping with remaining breasts.  Chill breasts at least one hour, as long as overnight or freeze just until firm.

Bread the chicken by first dredging in flour, then dipping in beaten egg and finally rolling in the panko bread crumbs, pressing to coat.  At this point, the crumbs need to adhere to the chicken.  Wrap the breaded breasts in plastic wrap and chill to set the coating at least one hour or up to 3 hours.

Fry all the stuffed breasts until browned on both sides in 1/2-inch of canola oil heated to 375 degrees, 5-7 minutes.  After browning, transfer breasts to a rack set over a baking sheet and transfer to the oven preheated to 450 degrees.  Roast stuffed breasts until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the chicken registers 165 degrees, 15-20 minutes.

From Cuisine at Home, February, 2012 issue

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