I love to cook. But like most people with small children, I get into a rut. Especially when it comes to making chicken. I have a few stand-by dishes my family likes, and I tend to resort to those week-after-week. So this week, I specifically looked for an interesting and tasty chicken recipe that was easy to make, but that the whole family would enjoy.
And I think I hit the jackpot. This recipe is courtesy of Light Cooking (an old cookbook I got as a gift in 1996 as a house-warming gift.)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about one pound). Use organic when possible. Don’t get me started on conventional chicken farms (and I use the term “farms” loosely). Pound the chicken to about 1/4 inch thickness.
1/2 tsp ground black pepper, divided
1/4 tsp salt (note, I almost never measure out my salt and pepper unless I’m baking. And if I’m baking, I don’t use pepper, because that is just gross. My point is that you can eyeball this stuff and you can’t really mess it up.)
1 cup brown rice, cooked in chicken broth (This is a great dish to hide the brown rice if your kids only like white. You can’t tell it’s brown.)
1/4 cup minced tomato (I used Italian canned tomatoes and chopped them small)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 tbsp toasted rice bran (OK…I’ve never cooked with rice bran, I’m not sure I want to, and even if I did, I’m don’t know where to find this in the store. I skipped it.)
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (I used dry because the basil at Kroger was gross this week.)
Nonstick cooking spray (I use butter or coconut oil)
1. Season the insides of the chicken breast with the salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
2. Combine rice, tomato, cheese, bran (?), basil and remaning pepper.
3. Spoon rice mixture on top of chicken breasts, fold over and secure with wooden toothpicks that you soaked in water. (Don’t be afraid of this step. I had never stuffed a chicken breast in my life, and it was very simple.)
4. Wipe off outside of chicken breasts.
5. Coat large skillet with cooking spray or oil of choice and put over med-high heat until hot.
6. Cook stuffed chicken breasts for one minute each side, or until golden brown. Be careful when you flip these, so they don’t fall apart
7. Transfer cooked chicken breasts to a shallow baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. (Note: I stuffed my chicken breasts and put them in the fridge about an hour beforehand. The baking time on mine was more like 30 minutes.)
Nutrients per serving:
What We Thought:
This dish was absolutely delicious. The rice mixture in the middle was so perfectly seasoned. The chicken was tender and juicy. Everyone loved it. Everyone wanted more. I can see this becoming a go-to dish for nights when we have company, because it’s pretty, too.
What I served with it:
A simple side salad. Nothing fancy. Didn’t need it.