I’m on vacation this week, and we’re headed out to Michigan to visit Mr. Kitchen’s family. We haven’t seen them since we’ve become engaged so we’re excited to go visit! Also, I am very excited to not get up and schlep on crowded smelly super hot subways for a week. I need to escape from the city, or at least work commuting, fairly regularly or else I get twitchy. Does anyone else living in the city get that? I’m generally a pretty happy person but every once in a while — generally after weeks of working overtime with no end in sight — I start getting irrationally angry at my commute. Once I even kicked a subway car. Guess what? When you do that? The subway car always wins. I had a bruise on my foot for a few days.
Anyway, back to my vacation and visiting my soon-to-be in-laws. I’ve never really cooked for my in-laws, but if I were hosting a meal, I would imagine I would serve something like this. Really, this might be the perfect in-laws over for dinner recipe. 1) It looks impressive 2) It involves crowd-pleaser ingredients (unless your in-laws have nut allergies) 3) It’s pretty easy to make and 4) It’s fairly healthy!
Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Makes enough for two breasts — Double for your in-laws!
2 tbsp butter
1/4 onion, diced
1/8 cup almonds, chopped or pulsed in food processor
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Panko
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese (shredded)
1 tsp butter (melted)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
A bit of olive oil, for drizzling.
Preheat oven to 350º
To form pockets in the chicken: With a very sharp knife, cut from the top (thickest part) of the breast from right to left and top to bottom at approximately a 30 degree angle, so that you’re forming an angled slit throughout the entire length of the chicken. Make sure that you do not cut all the way through the chicken breast (otherwise you’ll have chicken breast halves). Start out easy, making a slow, shallow cut. You can always go back and cut deeper.
The stuffing: Melt butter in sauce pan and saute onions and peppers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow mixture to cool. After it has cooled, mix cooked peppers and onions with almonds, egg and Parmesan. Spoon mixture into chicken pockets.
The topping: In a bowl, mix together Dijon and melted butter. Brush some of this over the chicken breasts. Mix remaining butter/Dijon with panko and Parmesan, and spoon on top of breasts, pressing the topping on gently to set it. Drizzle tops of chicken breasts with a bit of olive oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.