STUFFED CAPRESE CHICKEN BREASTS

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These Stuffed Caprese Chicken Breasts are perfect for any week night dinner, or special enough to serve to guests.

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STUFFED CAPRESE CHICKEN BREASTS have a creamy filling of 3 cheeses, bacon, baby spinach, and parsley that make this dish so juicy. It is  baked and then topped with a balsamic tomato-basil topping.

Last week, as I started to prepare our chicken breasts on the grill, I noticed that my herbs on the back porch looked extra good.  I also had some ripe tomatoes from a vegetable stand, so I was inspired to  create this recipe.

INGREDIENTS: 

2 large boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
cream cheese
fontina cheese
parmesan cheese
bacon
fresh baby spinach (under the tomatoes in this picture)
fresh parsley
extra virgin olive oil
golden balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
minced garlic
fresh basil leaves
roma tomatoes

HOW TO MAKE STUFFED CAPRESE CHICKEN BREASTS:

In a medium size mixing bowl, stir together the cream cheese, fontina and parmesan cheese, spinach, parsley and bacon. Set aside.

Pat the chicken breasts dry. Using a sharp knife, cut a pocket in each chicken breast, being careful not to cut completely through the chicken. (Pocket will hold the filling) Divide the filling mixture evenly between the 2 chicken breasts. Stuff the filling in tightly.

Brush the olive oil on each side of the chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Spray a small skillet with no stick cooking spray. Add the vegetable oil and heat over a medium heat. Add the chicken and brown each side about 2-3 minutes. Turn chicken carefully to avoid losing the filling.

Preheat the oven and transfer the chicken breasts to a baking dish. I started to do that, but decided that since it was just the 2 of us, I put them back in the same skillet.

Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached.

While the chicken is baking, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and garlic in a small bowl. Stir in the tomatoes and basil.  Leave out to serve at room temperature.

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Transfer the chicken to a serving dish, top with some of the tomato-basil topping and allow chicken to rest 5 minutes. Serve additional topping on the side.

Any dish that has melted cheese oozing out of it has to be delicious. It reminded me of an entree I had many years ago, prepared by a chef at the Historic Blennerhassett Hotel in our town.

A great breakfast recipe that has some of the same ingredients is:
Italian Breakfast Crostata

An Italian themed appetizer is: Chicken Bacon Caprese Bites

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