Yippeee!!! I am now the proud owner of an herb garden thanks to my daughter who diligently waters my plants. OK… maybe that isn’t totally accurate. It’s actually pots of herbs, but I am still really, REALLY excited. I have a bountiful supply of basil just dying to be used, which was the inspiration for this dish. I have been doing stuffed chicken breasts for years, but this was the first time I tried this particular combination, and I am so pleased with the outcome. Basil, Tomato and Mozzarella are a match made in heaven in my humble opinion. I am a little weird about my tomato textures though, and could not get myself to use regular tomato slices. I’m sure they would work fine, but sun-dried tomatoes have a depth in flavor that I love. Typically the chicken breasts are dipped in egg before coating with the bread crumbs, but I wanted to experiment with Italian dressing for extra ummppphh in the flavor department. Ohh… one more thing. If you have access to Panko breadcrumbs, please give them a whirl. You can thank me later (wink..wink). They are Japanese breadcrumbs and make for a crispier crust than regular breadcrumbs. If you can’t find them, regular breadcrumbs would be just fine.
Other combinations for the stuffing that would be divine would be: Bacon, Cheddar and Chives, Spinach and Feta Cheese, Ham and Swiss, Goat cheese, Spinach and Sun-dried tomatoes, Mushroom and Swiss…. really, the possibilities are endless. Let me know what other exciting combos you come up with.
Ok.. one last thing… my sweetie decided to squeeze lime juice on his chicken after it was cooked, and it was really good! Try lemon or lime juice for added zing.
Let’s get cooking.
5 Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless
10 Ounces Mozzarella, sliced into 10 pieces
1/2 Cup Fresh basil, chopped
1/3 Cup Sun-dried Tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 Cup Italian dressing
11/2 Cups Panko Breadcrumbs
Lime or lemon juice (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 375 Degrees F.
2. Using a sharp knife, cut a slit into the chicken about 3/4 of the way through (along the long side). Sprinkle both top and slit of chicken with the seasoning salt.
3. Stuff the chicken by evenly distributing the Mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and basil into the slits.
4. Put the dressing and the breadcrumbs in 2 separate bowls. Coat the chicken in the dressing first (both sides), then repeat the process with the bread crumbs. You want the surface of the chicken well breaded for best results. I like to use toothpicks to hold the chicken together.
5. Place the chicken on a sheet or cookie pan, sprayed with cooking spray. Also spray the top of the chicken (this helps with browning).
6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the chicken has an internal temp of 165 Degrees F.
I love this chicken with mashed potatoes and sautéed veggies.
Devotion For The Day:
Where’s my Joy?
Today is one of those days where 10 minutes out of being out of bed, I was ready to get back in and start the day over. It’s truly my fault. I know better than to get up and immediately jump into mommy mode. I know that a few minutes by myself to have my devotion and then face the day makes all the difference in my attitude. Anyway, this morning, I set myself up to fail. 10 minutes into a parenting struggle, I retreated to my corner to see what words of wisdom the bible could offer me. I actually laughed out loud when I read today’s verse. If only I had read it 20 minutes before! Oh well… better late than never. I found myself reminding myself of these words quite a few times today.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.