Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pepperoni- and Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I heard someone say once (it was probably Rachael Ray, yes she can be annoying but a lot of the things she says make sense) that chicken is like a blank canvas, just waiting to be filled. And I thought that was so true. Chicken goes with so many things, it can be used in so many applications -- but it can also get very, very boring.

I love the idea of stuffing chicken, because you can fill it with absolutely anything; there are virtually thousands of recipe combinations out there. I think the trick is just to get creative. When I saw a recipe for pepperoni- and cheese-stuffed chicken on one of my favorite food blogs, A Taste of Home Cooking, I knew immediately that I had to make it. Not only did I have some pepperoni that I needed to use up, it was also a combination of flavors that I'd never tried.

This was really, really good. I followed the Home Cook's suggestion by cutting a slit in the chicken and stuffing it that way, rather than rolling the chicken around the filling. The main change I made to the recipe was that I pan-fried it in olive oil first to make the skin nice and crispy. I loved the combination of flavors, and this was so quick and easy that I think it'll be one of my go-to weeknight dinners from now on.

(By the way, for my absolute number one most favorite stuffed chicken recipe in the world, go here.)

Pepperoni- and Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Source: adapted from A Taste of Home Cooking, and she got it from Melissa's Magic in the Kitchen

Boneless skinless chicken breasts
Sliced pepperoni
Shredded cheese (I used mild cheddar)
Italian seasoning
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cut a slit about halfway into the side of each chicken breast. Stuff with a few slices of pepperoni (I used 4 medium slices per breast) and shredded cheese (I probably used about 1/8 cup per breast). Secure edges with toothpicks, if desired. Season both sides of chicken with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

3. Heat a small amout of olive oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Pan fry chicken breasts until browned on both sides.

4. Move skillet to oven. Bake chicken at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.


Lisa K said...

Oh man, this sounds good! Plus, I have all the ingredients on hand.

Anonymous said...

Yummy! This is something my picky husband would LOVE. I am always looking for new chicken dishes since we eat it so often (and it can be boring). I agree....chicken IS a blank canvas. Thanks for sharing!

Donna-FFW said...

Wow, this sounds delicious. I just found your blog. Its wonderful. Love your choice of recipes and your photos!! Love the blank canvas comment.

Sara said...

This sounds so good, I would have never thought to stuff chicken with pepperoni!