Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ricotta and Ham Stuffed Chicken Breast

There are some folks that have a real aversion to touching raw meat. I promise you that this recipe is worth the therapy it may require to overcome your aversion!

I admit, we all have our issues. I can cut up raw meat without any hesitancy...good grief, during my days in Honduras, on some of my village excursions I got to pluck feathers from warm chickens. Splitting a chicken breast from the grocery store is really no big deal.

My bigger issue would be touching dirty socks...Ok, I have admitted it. There is nothing rational about it. Yep, dirty socks belonging to my beloved "man clan" give me such heby gebies....
Sorry for such an unappetizing departure from the recipe. Just proving a point that we all have our issues...if yours is raw meat, please do get over it. I am working on my issue and I believe there may be some hope for healing.

The first time I prepared this, the family was very pleased. I rate this delicious entree as a $12-$14 restaurant dinner...for sure!!!
I found this recipe in February 20, 2009 All You magazine, on pg 86. I recommend the magazine. It can be found on the magazine rack near the check out at W-Mart. It is one of the less expensive magazines and is full of great coupons and I am finding some great, easy recipes as well!
My only revision to this recipe is that I use chopped ham instead of deli slices. I just envisioned the "thinly sliced deli meat" sliding out of the chicken with all the cheese on the first cut. With kids, things like this can seem like a real crisis. So avoid a dinner time crisis and chop some ham and add it to your filling.

½ cup Ricotta
¼ cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
4 thin slices deli ham (I used ¼ cup ham finely chopped)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and pepper
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS butter

In a small bowl combine ricotta, Parmesan, basil and garlic.
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Cut a slit along the thick edge of each breast half, forming a pocket.
Open breast halves like a book and place a spoonful of the ricotta / ham mixture inside of the breast.

Close the chicken and “pin” with a toothpick.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken on both sides with flour until well coated.
In a large skillet, warm oil and butter over medium-high heat until butter melts and begins to foam.
Add chicken to pan and cook 5 minutes: turn and cook on second side for an additional 4-6 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts. Cook until no longer pink. (May have to cut to test.)
Serve hot. We have enjoyed it over rice!

This recipe is a sure winner!

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