Friday, January 7, 2011

stuffed chicken

 Let's talk about something.

I have been feeling that people are not stuffing cheese into things enough.  Think about it.  What are people stuffing cheese into?  It's not mozzerella sticks because those are just straight cheese.  They stuff processed cheese into oscar meyer hotdogs, and jalapeno poppers.  And grilled cheese.  

That is not enough.  I wanted like a chicken grilled cheese.  You know, like that KFC sandwich that the "bread" is a grilled chicken breast.  

YEA, that is what I am talkin' about.  People should be stuffing cheese everywhere.  I, along with Colonel Sanders, am about to start a revolution

Gouda Stuffed Chicken, with Herbed Orzo and Tomato Sauce
adapted from Emeril Lagasse

 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, 6 to 8 ounces each, patted dry
Essence, recipe follows
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces Gouda, cut into thick slices
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Herbed Orzo with Peas, recipe follows
Chopped parsley, garnish

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
    Spread a sheet of saran wrap flat on the work surface. Place 1 chicken breast in the center of the sheet and top with another sheet of plastic. Gently pound it with the flat side of a meat mallet until thin. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.

    Lightly season the chicken on both sides with Essence, salt, and pepper.
    Lay a piece of Gouda in the center of each chicken breast. Tuck the short ends of the chicken in and roll up the long ends, jellyroll fashion, to enclose the cheese completely. Secure each breast diagonally with a wooden toothpick, as needed.

    In a shallow bowl, combine the flour with 1 teaspoon Essence. In another bowl, beat the egg with the water. In a third bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with 1 teaspoon of Essence.

    One at a time, lightly coat each chicken breast roll in the flour. Dip into the egg wash, and then dredge in the bread crumbs to evenly coat, shaking to remove any excess.
    In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil and melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Place in the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes.

    Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and remove the toothpicks. Slice each breast into 3/4-inch rounds.

    Herbed Orzo with Peas:
    8 ounces orzo pasta
    1/2 cup frozen peas
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup chopped green onions
    3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
    Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the peas and cook until tender, about 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain well.
    In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the oil and lemon juice. Add the green onions, Parsley, and basil and toss to combine. Add salt to taste.
    Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

    Pour zippy tomato sauce all over that and call it a day.  Because you just made a grilled cheese out of chicken.

    And to that I say, BRAVO good sir.  Bravo.



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