Monday, January 12, 2009

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken

411 calories, 4 g. carbs

I like to make extra chicken because it makes a wonderful lunch the next day!!! If stored in a covered container, the chicken will keep for up to 2 days. To reheat, arrange the chicken in a baking dish, cover, and bake at 350 until heated through, 10-15 minutes. Drizzle with a little olive oil to replace lost moisture. (The microwave works well too. :) )

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (6 oz. each)
1 Tblsp. fresh basil or 1/2 tsp. dried
4 slices (6 oz.) smoked or regular mozzarella cheese, each 1/4" thick (I use string cheese and cut it in half)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tblsp. olive oil
1 large green and/or red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1/3 cup (3 oz) pitted ripe kalamata olives, quartered lengthwise (opt.)

Preheat the oven to 350.
Make a 3"-long horizontal pocket in each chicken piece (cut through the thicker edge to 1/2" from the opposite edge). Sprinkle basil into the pocket. Slip cheese slice into each pocket, folding it as needed to fit. Close the edges and secure with toothpicks. Season with 1/4 tsp. of the salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the bell pepper and season with the remaining 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and starting to wilt, 4 to 5 minutes. Push the pepper to the edge of the skillet and add the chicken. Cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn, and brown the other side of 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a baking dish. Arrange the pepper around the chicken. Add the wine or broth and the olives (opt.)
Bake, uncovered, until the chicken juices run clear and a meat thermometer registers 170 degrees, 12 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken to plates and top with the peppers and olives. There should be about 2 Tblsp. of juices in the pan. If more, set the skillet over medium heat and cook until the liquid is reduced, 1 to 3 minutes. Spoon over the chicken.

Makes 4 servings

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