Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Parmesan-Basil Filling



I bought another cookbook last weekend. 

I have about 4 now.

It may be just 2% of all the books I have which, for someone who cooks often, is quite a shame. 

But that is about to change real soon because I have plans to buy a cookbook in every trip to Booksale.

Something I do religiously.

In the past posts, I made up recipes. 

Now, I've decided to adapt and recreate recipes from really good cookbooks.

I just want to know if I can do it.

Inside: Frank Sinatra's favorite dishes

The home kitchen is turning into the diy-eats test kitchen. 

Test kitchen because it seems that things always don't go right the first time.

I've had my share of rock solid cupcakes, runny sauces, a few burnt meat here and there.

Also, garnishing is not my strongest suit.

The learning process never ends. 

The best part is when I open the oven to unravel something great.

Something picture perfect like in the books. Something that tastes absolutely good.

The bestest part is when my dishes get rave reviews from my family. 

Hard to achieve.

Challenge accepted.


The recipe below is from Cook's Illustrated Magazine, a publication I've come to love because of how good they break complex kitchen dillemas down into very simple instructions, even a newbie would find it easy.

I also love how they give a lot of time, careful planning, and two-page spreads to each recipe. A sign that they care about food and the people who tries to make 'em good.


Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Parmesan-Basil Filling
(Adapted from Cook's Illustrated June 2011)

Note: Buy chicken breasts with skin still attached and intact; otherwise the stuffing will leak out during cooking. 


What you need:

4 chicken breasts, skin-on, bone carefully taken out
salt and pepper
olive oil

For the cheese filling:
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated 
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced finely like a paste
a dash of salt and pepper

How to:

Pre-heat oven to 230 degrees C (450 degrees F)

1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

2. Using your fingers, gently loosen portion of the skin covering each breast, making a pocket big enough for filling.


3. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for cheese filling and carefully fill each breast under the skin (about 1 1/2 teaspoons). 

4. Brush chicken with olive oil and place on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake chicken for 30-40 minutes. 

5. Serve with a side of salad or rice. 


For the record, this is the first time I've ever baked chicken. 

It turned out a little dry so add a little more olive oil. 

All in all, it was a totally delectable recipe.

I am a big fan of cheese (!!!) and sure enough the chicken skin together with the salty-tangy taste of cheese had a wild party in my mouth.

I made it this morning and it was meant to be for lunch but I think it's all gone before 10am AKA the fam bam loved it.

I live for small victories.


Till the next eats!


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