Thursday, May 2, 2013

Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella and Basil Stuffed Chicken

My kitchen has been closed for about a week now.


And no, we haven't spent a small fortune eating out.  Generally, we try to limit our nights out/ordering take-out to no more than two nights a week, with one being something casual and the other being our "date night".  We've found that eating home is not only cheaper, it's also much healthier. 

Instead, we've been eating out of the freezer this week.  You may have noticed that I often recommend doubling (or tripling) recipes and freezing the extra portion for a quick and simple dinner in the future (i.e. work day from hell).  Well, I practice what I preach, so I typically have a full freezer stocked with prepared food and staples (or at least I had one before this week). With my girls weekend in Charlotte this past weekend, I knew I'd have very little time to meal plan and grocery shop, so I decided to give myself a break from the kitchen and use up some of my freezer reserves. You know, extend my vacation a bit.  


I have to admit, it has been really nice to come home from work with nothing more to do than pop a dish in the oven, pour a glass of wine and read a magazine or work on the blog.  And don't get me started on the easy clean up.  That's where the real "break" comes in for me.   I love to cook (obviously), and would happily stand in a kitchen cooking until the cows come home; just don't make me do the dishes. I'll scream, I'll cry, I'll pitch a royal fit (this is all embarrassingly true). 

I hate to clean.  It's not my thing.

I figured it's only fair that if I get to take it easy in the kitchen this week, so should you.  So this week I am sharing with you my quick and easy-to-prep dishes for busy week nights.  Tuesday was the fish tacos, today is the stuffed chicken.  These two meals make it into the dinner rotation at least twice a month. 


The frequent reappearance of this dish may have something to do with the fact it is one of Scott's favorites; he calls it "Pizza Chicken."  Most likely because it tastes similar to my go-to pizza order of chicken, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, artichokes, basil and roasted red peppers (yep - I'm that person who orders ten toppings on a pizza). Or maybe because it kind of looks like a pizza.  Who knows.    Bottom line, it's simple, fast, relatively healthy and boyfriend/husband/son/whatever-male-is-in-your-life approved.  I don't think it gets any better. 


What you see below is my basic recipe.  Change it up if you are feeling saucy by adding (or substituting) some sauteed spinach, fresh tomatoes, artichokes, mushrooms, olives, etc.    

Roasted Red Pepper, Mozzarella and Basil Stuffed Chicken
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time:  35 minutes
Total Time:  50 minutes

Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into 8 slices
1 12 oz jar of roasted red peppers sliced into 1 inch pieces (about two whole red peppers if you roast your own)
1 bunch of basil, whole leaves
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper for seasoning

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 9x12 casserole dish.  Butterfly chicken breasts by slicing into the long side of the breast, stopping just about 1/4 of an inch from the opposite side.  Lay chicken breast in casserole dish opened up.  Sprinkle the exposed insides of the chicken breast with 1/2 of the Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.  Stack the roasted red pepper, basil, and 1 slice of the mozzarella on the bottom side of the chicken.  Fold the top flap of the chicken over, tucking in the mozzarella, basil and roasted red pepper as necessary.  Sprinkle with the remaining Italian seasoning.  Bake chicken for 30-40 minutes (until chicken is no longer pink).  Pull chicken out of oven and turn the oven to a high broil.  Top chicken with remaining mozzarella slices and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Broil until cheese is browned and bubbly, about 5 minutes.

11 comments:

  1. This looks so delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe idea!

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    1. Thank you Rosie! I am dying for one of your Raspberry and Mascarpone Cheesecake Popsicles!

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  2. I love your pictures and recipes. I'd like to inform you of a great new website www.foodieportal.com. I would like to invite you to come and join us and share your wonderful pictures with us. We are simply foodies and we are not photography snobs, so picture perfection is not important, all we care about is delicious food.

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  3. Yum! The roasted capsciums look like the perfect companion to the chicken. Cant wait to try this :)

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    1. Thank you Brooke! They add so much flavor to an otherwise boring (in my humble opinion) chicken breast

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. I'm trying it tonight! Looks great!

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  6. Made this last night and it was delicious! thanks for a great (and easy) recipe!

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  7. Mine is in the oven as we speak ... thank you for this great idea!!! I had roasted red peps in the fridge and chicken that needed to be cooked tonight, so hope the hubby is happy : ) Thanks again

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    1. I hope you and the hubby enjoyed them! They are always a hit in this house.

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  8. omg. I know what I'm cooking for dinner tomorrow. I just got some fresh mozzarella today. Thanks for sharing!

    Adia xx Adia Sinead

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