Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mozzarella Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breasts w/ Roasted Red Pepper Marinara

Holy cow, this may be one of the best chicken dishes I've made!  It was so simple, but the sauce was different that any marinara I've ever made.  It was seriously delicious trust me.  And if I were you I would double the chicken & the marinara - you'll want extra!  And we made salads with the extra chicken (recipe posting soon).  Recipe borrowed from my friend Lauren - chicken & sauce!

I'm just warning you now, don't count on pretty pictures for the rest of the winter!  Its amazing how much more beautiful my pictures turn out in natural light.  Since I get home around 7 most nights, and finish cooking around 8, wintertime doesn't allow for pretty pictures.  (Lauren's pics were also way prettier than mine!)

1 red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large ripe tomatoes (or in my case, a bunch of small cherry tomatoes)
a small pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
a small pinch of sugar

Chicken1 clove garlic, minced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
2 tablspoons pesto
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, rosemary & other italian seasonings

Heat oven to broil, and broil your red pepper, turning to make sure you char each side.  Mine took about 5-10 minutes total.  Set aside to let cool.  Once pepper is cool, carefully peel skin off the outside, and pull out stem & seeds.  Roughly chop. 

Heat some evoo gently in a skillet, then add the garlic and saute for 3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, red pepper, red pepper flakes and oregano and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Stir in the vinegar and sugar, and simmer for a further 5 minutes to evaporate any excess liquid.
Transfer to a blender and puree until fairly smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a skillet over medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. 

Put the chicken breasts onto a board, and, using a sharp knife, cut horizontally through the breast without cutting all the way through. Open out flat and season the insides.

Spread pesto (or basil leaves), a few garlic slices, and 2 slices of cheese in each breast. Then fold back over, pressing firmly together. Secure with toothpicks.

Cook chicken on a preheated pan for about 5-6 minutes on each side, until cooked through.

Serve with red pepper marinara.

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