Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Recipe: Kale, bacon and shallot stuffed chicken breast

This was a spur of the moment 'I have all those ingredients' meal and it came out fantastic. Chicken is boring so I'm always trying to think of new ways to serve it. Stuffing it isn't fun and it's messy, but it is worth it in the end. For you people who do a bit of dairy every so often, add some blue cheese. You'll thank me later. Not the best photo but by the time it was time to eat, I forgot. Happens sometimes.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts
serves 2 

What you need:
2 skinless breasts
2 good handfuls of chopped kale
1/2 medium shallot, sliced thin
3-4 pieces uncured bacon
kosher salt & pepper
couple nuggets blue cheese *optional

toothpicks or string to secure chicken

What to do:
Chop bacon into pieces, (not too small) and cook it in a cast iron or chefs pan til it's crispy but not burned. Meanwhile chop kale into bite size pieces and slice shallot. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and put aside. Cook kale and shallot in bacon fat for about 7-8 minutes on medium high heat, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

While that stuff is cooking place chicken on cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and pound the crap out of it until it's relatively thin. Salt and pepper both sides.

Preheat oven 350. 

When kale is wilted and the onion is translucent remove from the pan with the slotted spoon and transfer to the bowl with the bacon. We want any bacon fat to sear the chicken. Let kale mixture cool a bit. Once cooled place half of the mixture in the center of the chicken, almost like you're making a taco. (If you can remember how to do that) Add your blue cheese if using. Start rolling at one end, then secure closed with a few toothpicks or string. Toothpicks are way easier. Don't overstuff.

Heat cast iron on high, add a little more fat, 1-2 tbsp if needed. Your reserved bacon fat that you diligently keep in the fridge in a mason jar would be awesome at this point, but you can use whatever oil/fat you like. Add the chicken seam side down first and sear about 3 minutes. Sear all sides 2-3 min each. When browned, throw whole cast iron skillet into oven and finish cooking about 10-12 minutes. Poke test it around 10 minutes. If it springs back, it's done.

Remove skillet from oven, remove chicken from skillet and let it rest about 5 min. Done!

I served mine with roasted brussels sprouts and a sliced tomato with basil, evoo and red wine vinegar.

You can basically stuff chicken with anything. If you have spinach or collard greens they work just as well. Only rule with stuffing chicken is have at least one item with a lot of flavor or punch. IE - blue cheese, feta cheese, olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes etc since chicken is mild.

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