These Mediterranean-style stuffed chicken breasts, which are filled with a mixture of cream cheese, bacon, bread crumbs, almonds, olives, and thyme, are an easy, healthy-ish main that’s simple enough for a weeknight, but still feel (and taste!) quite special.
Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Almonds, Olives, and Thyme
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 1 H
- Serves 4
Preheat the oven to 325°F (162° C). Lightly oil a 13-by-9-inch baking dish.
Fry the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Let cool and then crumble. Reserve the bacon drippings.
Combine the crumbled bacon, cream cheese, bread crumbs, olives, almonds, egg, and 1 tablespoon of the thyme and mix well.
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.
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.
Cover the chicken and roast until done, 25 to 30 minutes. 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.
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. Originally published June 6, 2011.
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Recipe Testers' Reviews
Chicken breasts usually aren’t my protein of choice, but this dish will be a repeat offender on my table. I loved how the chicken turned out—it was unbelievably moist. The crunchiness of the bacon and crushed almonds really made the stuffing pop.
Searing and baking the chicken at first seemed a little much, but it’s not. The chicken came out beautifully golden brown, and it smelled amazing. A couple of things to watch out for: Taste the bacon before you add salt and pepper to the chicken, to make sure you’re not oversalting the bird. It’s better to salt at the end. Also, do use low-sodium chicken broth (homemade is fine). Though the stuffing is more than enough for six chicken breasts, don’t worry, there won’t be any left!
This is a very easy recipe. The stuffed chicken is very impressive and tasty. The filling was a nice blend of creamy and crunchy with a little smokiness from the bacon and brininess from the olives.
The pan sauce was quite thin so I added a little Wondra flour to thicken it. It didn’t make very much sauce (about 2 tablespoons), so I suggest doubling the amount of wine and broth to deglaze. This will make just enough to nicely coat the chicken breasts.