The artichoke and goat cheese filling and a touch of roasted pepper make these chicken breasts moist and flavourful. This is a bit of throw back to the old Chicken Kiev recipes where you wrap your chicken breast around some herbed butter. I think I had a version that included broccoli too. All this to say that you can get creative with whatever flavors you like inside the chicken. Artichoke and goat cheese are a bit trendy now but you could use ham and swiss cheese or feta cheese and black olive. Think of what you like on your pizza and a little dab in your chicken breast will probably suit you fine as well!
There are a couple of tricks to this that it took me a long time to figure out. My filling used to melt and leak out but the key to this is to refrigerate the wrapped breasts for a bit before you bread them. The chicken meat melds together and becomes actually quite sturdy. You don't even need toothpicks or any fancy tricks to hold them together. I refrigerate them again after I bread them and I bake them rather than fry them. With the baking you don't need to handle them as much. In frying pan you have to turn them and reposition them periodically and it just risks a bit more breakage.
Pounding the chicken breasts out to a ¼ " is pretty simple if you put them between plastic wrap. I use 2 layers of wrap for each of top and bottom. One layer tends to cut open as you pound them with your mallet.
The other thing to watch for is not to overfill them. I was prone to trying to fit as much as I could in the middle and you really don't need much - just enough to be moist and add a flavor hit. Then you run MUCH less of a risk of the fillings leaking out.
You can make these ahead! (No surprise there for those of you who know me!) You can make them the day before or early in the day. I spray them with cooking spray just before I pop them in the oven.
I served them with steamed green beans and my Herbed Tarragon Butter.
And- bonus - since you don't need much of the goat cheese, artichokes or roasted pepper you will have some left over and can make this delicious pizza! Just switch out the provolone for goat cheese and the tomatoes for roasted peppers! You could even mince up any leftover chicken breast and add it to the toppings. If you plan to make the pizza you will have to start the No Knead Pizza Dough the day before you want the pizza.
A crisp white wine would go well with this. Suggested pairing : Sauvignon Blanc or Muscadet Sevre et Maine. A Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio would work too.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast
- 3 oz marinated artichoke hearts minced, I use Molisano's
- 1 small roasted red pepper minced (about 2 Tbsps)
- 2 oz goat cheese crumbled
- ½ cup flour
- 2 eggs whisked
- ½ cup fine bread crumbs
- cooking spray
- Position breasts, one at a time, smooth skin side down between 4 layers of plastic wrap. Pound chicken breasts til they are about ¼" thick.
- Mix filling ingredients together and spread ¼ of mixture in a line in the middle of each chicken breast. Do not over fill.
- Tuck the 2 short ends in toward the middle and then fold the long sides into the center. You should not be able to see any of the filling. Gently push the chicken breast flesh to close any gaps.
- Wrap each breast individually and tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least an hour. (They can go longer and it won't be a problem.)
- Put flour, egg and bread crumbs in 3 separate bowls. You can use a plate for the four and crumbs.
- Roll each chicken breast in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. There should be no missing spots for any of the flour, egg or bread crumbs. When you are done bread crumbs should be evenly spread over the rolled breasts.
- You can bake them at this point or return to the fridge in your baking dish, covered, til ready to bake. Make sure breasts are not croweded and do not touch each other.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray breasts lightly on top and sides with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes. Allow to rest 5 minutes and serve.