Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Stuffed with Pesto

I often have trouble using boneless, skinless, chicken breasts because I run out of ways to fix them. Not only that, they can turn out dry and flavorless.
I have found that bacon and chicken compliment each other quite nicely. The bacon infuses some great flavor into the chicken and the fat from the bacon keeps the chicken tender. The bacon dresses up the chicken nicely so you could serve this for a special occasion; or fix for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

I sprinkle the chicken with little black pepper and use a simple pesto and Parmesan cheese to stuff the inside of the breast. Do not salt the chicken. The bacon contains salt that will season the chicken nicely. Bake the chicken on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. This allows for even cooking and excess fat to drip away from the chicken. Turn the breasts over halfway through for even browning of the bacon.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Stuffed with Pesto
from Tasteful Cuisine

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons pesto
3-4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
12-15 slices of hickory smoked bacon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare chicken by trimming away any excess fat or skin.  Using a chef's knife, slice through the chicken horizontally, but do not cut all the way through. Lay the chicken pieces out and lightly sprinkle with fresh ground pepper. Spread pesto evenly on the inside of each breast. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Fold the chicken back over and wrap evenly with strips of bacon.

2. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and place chicken on rack. Bake chicken for 20 minutes; flip chicken and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until bacon is nicely browned and chicken registers 165 degrees. Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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