Sun-dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I’m always looking for quick easy meals but they also have to pack a lot of flavor. I think my riff on Chicken Saltimbocca hits the mark. It’s loaded with flavor, easy to assemble and ready in about 45 minutes which isn’t that bad since 30 minutes of that time it’s hanging out in the oven. Much like my grandmother I have a tendency to add a bit of this and a dash of that so this recipe is fairly loose. The benefit though is you really can’t mess it up.

I prefer bone-in skin-on chicken breasts for this recipe as the bone provides a better platform for stuffing the breasts and serves as a natural roasting rack. This recipe serves 4.

2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)

4 thin slices of provolone cheese, cut in half

4 thin slices of soppressata or salami, cut in half

1/3 c. sun-dried tomatoes in oil

1 Tbs. Italian seasoning

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 lemon, juiced

1 large shallot, about 2 Tbs. sliced

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

9 oz. frozen artichoke hearts or 1 15 0z jar canned, drained (If you have more/less, no big deal)

2 c. white wine (whatever you have around the house but ideally pinot grigio, vinho verde – something light and unoaked). This might be too much wine based on the size of your pan. If so take one for the team and drink what’s left.

  • Chicken makes a run for it when I try to stuff it. To make it easier to work with I put it on a paper towel and then onto the plate I’m using for prep work.

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Place your chicken breasts on a prep plate and pat dry. With a sharp knife cut a pouch horizontally into the breast not cutting all the way through to the bone. Run your fingers under the skin creating a pocket there as well.

3) Liberally season the chicken with the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle the seasonings in the pouch, under the skin and don’t forget the back side. Flip over so the back bones are on your prep plate.

4) Divide the sun-dried tomatoes between each breast and stuff each pouch with the tomatoes. Make sure you tuck the tomatoes far into the pocket. Next add 4 overlapping strips of salami/soppressata on top of the tomatoes followed by 4 slices of cheese. Tuck the items far into the pouch. You don’t want a lot of the ingredients, particularly the cheese, hanging out of the pouch. Get in there. Don’t be shy.

5) Place remaining soppressata/salami under the skin and pull the skin over to cover it completely.

6) In a pan that ideally can go from stovetop to oven, but if not no big deal, heat 1 Tbs. cooking oil and 1 tsp olive oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is heated and begins to shimmer put in the chicken skin side down. Reduce heat to medium. Leave the chicken undisturbed for about 3 minutes or until you get a nice brown skin.

7) Remove the chicken from the pan. Reduce the heat to med-low. Add the shallots, garlic and spread the artichoke hearts evenly around the sides of the pan. Add the chicken, skin side up, to the center of the pan. Pour the lemon juice over the chicken. Pour in wine until it reaches the bones of the chicken. Don’t submerge the chicken.

8) Cover the pan with foil and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and broil under a hot broiler to re-crisp the skin, about 2 minutes.

Variation: Throw in a few black olives before baking. They’ll add a salty, earthy flavor to the broth.

*If doing this in a different dish than the browning pan, spray the baking dish with non-stick spray, add in the shallots, and garlic and proceed as above. The flavor will be different since you won’t have the pan juices but it should still be quite delicious.

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