Mushroom and Leek Stuffed Chicken Breasts
I was looking through a stack of recipes I had cut out from an old magazine, and found a section of recipes from the July 2005 issue of Fitness (yeah, I hang onto recipes for that long). The article featured 5 low-fat and fast dishes. Low-fat and fast are two important criteria for me when selecting a recipe. One of the recipes was for pan-roasted chicken breasts with mushrooms and leeks. It looked really good, but I figured I could cut back on the fat even more with less oil, as well as make it a little cheaper by swapping the shiitake mushrooms for regular button mushrooms. I kept the leeks—for some reason I think leeks are more special than onions, plus their texture couldn’t be as easily duped as the mushrooms could. What was really great about this stuffed chicken was that the stuffing didn’t have cheese in it, like chicken cordon bleu, which I associate bad wedding reception food. Cheesy stuffing often gloops out of the sides of the chicken, unlike this stuffing which stays put. Because this makes 2 servings and because I was able to get this ready in 30 minutes, I think this would be a great fast and healthy date night main course.
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms, any variety
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
2 chicken breasts (before cooking weight: approximately 5-oz each)
salt and pepper, to taste
non-stick cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees F.
2. To clean the leek: remove the dark green part of the leek and the root end and discard. Cut the leek lengthwise and then cut thin half circle slices. Put the leek slices into a bowl of cold water and swish them around. The gritty sand will fall to the bottom as the leek slices float to the top. Remove the leeks and dry on paper towel or a clean kitchen towel.
3. In a medium non-stick (preferably oven-safe) skillet, heat 1 tsp of the olive oil. Add the leek slices, garlic, mushrooms, rosemary, and some salt and pepper and saute until the mixture is softened. Remove the leek mixture to the side. Set the skillet aside for later use.
4. With a paring knife, cut a small pocket in the top edge of one side of the chicken breast, being careful not to cut through the breast. Fill each breast with half of the mushroom-leek mixture. If the breast was punctured with the knife, secure any holes with a wooden toothpick.
5. Reheat the skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining oil and sear each side of the chicken until it is brown; it does not need to be cooked through. If using an oven-safe skillet, place the skillet into the oven and roast the chicken 10 minutes more or until the juices run clear. If not using an oven-safe skillet, place the chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Drizzle any pan juices over top the chicken. Roast the chicken for 10 minutes or until the juices run clear.
6. Once the chicken is out of the oven, let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting it into 3/4-inch slices. If toothpicks were used, remove before serving. Drizzle any pan juices over the chicken before serving.