Since my last chicken post was kind of a bust (no offense, honey, it just wasn’t really a recipe. And besides no one can fry those Tyson tenders like you can – it can’t be taught!), I have a really really good one for you today. This recipe was given to me by a friend who is taking a Healthy Cooking class out in Brookline, MA. She shared with me some of the dishes she had already made, and I of course weeded through all the really healthy ones with such forbidden items as vegetables, tofu, and whole wheat flour, to find the only one my husband would eat. And, boy, did he ever! We are huge fans of this recipe, even more so when I have caramelized onions already on hand to make this even easier! In fact, may I recommend to all of you that you always have some caramelized onions on hand? They are great for stirring into risotto, topping on baked potatoes, adding to an omelette, layering into a vegetable gratin, incorporating into hors d’oeuvres or for any number of other possibilities. And they do keep, especially if you freeze them this way.
In any case, this dish just really tastes good. I’ve made it with both grocery store President-brand brie and with the really good Brie de Nangis that my local cheese shop, Joppa Fine Foods, regularly stocks. The good stuff does make for a richer and more flavorful result, but if you don’t have access to any, the grocery brands work fine. Also, if pounding out chicken doesn’t sound all that fun to you, I would guess that you could make this recipe by cutting a deep slit into the side of a chicken breast (but not through to the other side) parallel to the cutting board, and stuffing the cheese mixture inside that way. Close up the slit with a toothpick and proceed with the recipe. You might not get quite as much filling, but it is more exciting than straight chicken!
Brie and Caramelized Onion Stuffed Chicken Breast, adapted from Cooking Light May 1997
1 Tbs. and 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 c. sliced onion
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/3 cup white wine or dry vermouth
2 oz. Brie, cut into small pieces
1 Tbs. fresh sage, chopped finely
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1/2 tsp. olive oil in large oven-proof pan (meaning no plastic handles) over medium heat, add sliced onion and cook 3 minutes, until browned. Add sliced garlic and saute until golden brown. Stir in 1/3 cup white wine and cook five minutes or until liquid is evaporated.
Spoon onion mixture into bowl and let cool. Once cooled, stir in Brie, sage and salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, place one chicken breast into a large plastic bag or between two sheets of plastic wrap. Pound with a rolling pin or heavy sauce pan, using firm glancing blows, until chicken is approximately 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with all of the chicken breasts. Salt and pepper each piece to taste.
Place a dollop of stuffing mixture onto the chicken, roll up and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the rest of the chicken. In the same skillet you used for the onions, add a bit more olive oil, and brown the chicken roll-ups on all sides.
Put the whole pan into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. At this point, you can dig in and enjoy, or you can remove the chicken from the pan, and pour into the pan about a 1/2 cup of white wine and some minced garlic, stirring to pull up the browned bits. As it starts to get thicker, stir in a couple teaspoons of butter, then pour over the chicken for a nice and easy sauce.