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Mediterranean-Style Stuffed Chicken Breasts

We know what you’re thinking. “Stuffed chicken? How very…’80s.” Perhaps. And ’70s. And ’60s. And ’50s. Because as with most classics, this technique has wended in and out of favor throughout the decades. Yet its popularity persists, which is precisely why it’s a classic. That and because it works–to great effect. But you don’t need to take our word at it. This eminently simple, memorably satisfying dish says it all.–Renee Schettler Rossi

LC Meat & Potatoes Note

If you covet those colorful sides, just toss some vegetables—whatever happens to be in season, though this photo happens to have captured an autumn moment wherein vibrant sweet potatoes and purple cauliflower were at the greenmarket—with a little olive oil and roast in a hot oven (425ish°F or so) until barely tender, maybe 12 minutes for young summery things, upwards for sturdier, cooler-weather items. Pretty much any veggie will do.

Mediterranean-Style Stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 bacon slices
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely choppped slivered almonds
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 4 small (about 1 pound total) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (162° C). Lightly oil a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
  • 2. Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Let cool and then crumble. Reserve the bacon drippings.
  • 3. Combine the crumbled bacon, cream cheese, bread crumbs, olives, almonds, egg, and 1 tablespoon of the thyme and mix well.
  • 4. Use a small, sharp knife to make a horizontal slit in the thickest portion of each chicken breast, being careful to not cut through to the opposite side. Fill each pocket with some of the cream cheese stuffing. This could get messy. And you may have a little left over.
  • 5. Heat the oil or, if you prefer, the bacon drippings in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until browned on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the baking dish, reserving the drippings in the skillet.
  • 6. Cover the chicken and bake until done, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • 7. After the chicken has been in the oven for about 15 minutes, add the wine and broth to the drippings in the skillet and cook on medium, stirring frequently to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining thyme then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • 8. Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and slice them, keeping each breast sort of intact. Deftly transfer to plates and nap the chicken with the sauce.
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