Dinner Tonight: Quick Entrees for Meals
Stuffed chicken breasts save the day
Fast and elegant: Chicken breasts stuffed with blue cheese make a special dinner for last-minute guests. (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)
You can change the fillings up as you like. You also can stuff and tie the chicken pieces ahead and refrigerate until it's time to cook.
You want to wrap the chicken over the filling, then tie it with string as you would a present. Alternate filling: smoked Gouda cheese, toasted pine nuts and sun-dried tomatoes.
Blue cheese, pecan and cranberry-stuffed chicken breasts
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded 1/4-inch thick
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 ounces blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
½ cup white wine
½ cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
¼ chopped parsley
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper to taste.
2. Mix the blue cheese in a bowl with the cranberries and pecans. Lay a chicken breast on a cutting board with the top side (where the skin was) down. Place one fourth of the blue cheese mixture in the center of the chicken breast. Wrap the chicken breast tightly around the cheese with kitchen string. Repeat with remaining chicken.
3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat; add the chicken. Brown on both sides. Transfer chicken to a baking pan; place in the oven. Bake until cooked through, about 12 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make a pan sauce. Add the shallots and garlic to the skillet and more olive oil, if needed. Cook over medium-high heat until soft. Add wine; reduce to a syrup. Add chicken broth and mustard. Whisk in the butter, a piece at a time, to thicken sauce. Remove from heat; add parsley.
5. Cut and remove the string from the chicken; serve the chicken, sliced crosswise, if you like, with the sauce.
Per serving: 420 calories, 25 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 110 mg cholesterol, 13 g carbohydrates, 35 g protein, 953 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.