I think chicken is probably my favourite kind of meat. It is widely recognized as the most versatile meat there is out there, and because I recently reintroduced meat and poultry into my diet, I feel like I’m discovering a whole new world of options and recipes.
I visited my friend Brandon in Toronto a few weeks ago and we whipped up a delicious dinner based on ingredients we found in the fridge: chicken, herbed cream cheese, sundried tomatoes, and fresh basil and sage. We grilled some asparagus and made a salad, and had ourselves a veritable feast!
I would make this chicken again, although Brandon and I agreed we’d use feta or goat cheese in the future if we could. Still, the cream cheese was soft and created a delectable sauce for the chicken… the asparagus was just the right amount of crunchy… the salad was fresh…
Let’s just say it was pretty darn good.
Chicken Stuffed with Sundried Tomatoes, Cheese, and Fresh Herbs
for one chicken breast
2 tbsp cream cheese
1 sundried tomato, plus 1 tbsp of its preserving oil
3-4 basil leaves
1-2 sage leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 350º.
2. Cut your chicken breast almost fully in half, leaving one side of the breast attached so that you have a flap to close over the filling.
3. Chop the sundried tomato into very small pieces. Chiffonade the basil and sage.
Note: to chiffonade fresh herbs, pile the leaves over one another, roll them into a tube, and cut the tube into thin slices — your herbs will look like slivers of green.
4. In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, sundried tomato, tomato oil, basil, sage, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir until the mixture is smooth and the tomato and herbs are well distributed.
5. Spoon the cheese mixture into the cut chicken breast, careful to keep the mixture inside the meat. Use toothpicks to close the top of the breast over the filling. This will keep the chicken in place during the cooking process and secure the filling within it.
6. Place in an oven proof baking dish and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with dried oregano, salt, and fresh pepper. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.
7. Serve with greens, steamed vegetables, rice, potatoes, pasta, or any other side you fancy.