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Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Alternative Ingredients are listed in Red
|4||lg||Chicken Breasts (bone in, skin on)|
|4||slices||Prosciutto (about 2 oz)|
|or||Salami & Mozzarella|
|or||Pastrami & Jarlsberg|
|4||tsp||Fresh Chopped Tarragon|
|Fresh Ground Pepper to taste|
Cut a pocket in each breast starting on the thicker-side of the chicken, just above the ribs, slicing horizontally, leaving ½" of the meat attached around the rest of the breast, to hold the stuffing.
In a bowl dissolve 3 tbls of salt in 1 quart of cold water. Brine the chicken breasts in the refrigerator for 30 minutes; covered with plastic wrap or sealed in a freezer bag.
Mince your shallot (you should have about 3 tablespoons), chop the tarragon, and place them both into a small bowl, along with the softened butter and whisk thoroughly.
Slice the Fontina into four 3" batonnets ("sticks" to us common folk) about ½" thick and wrap each in it's own slice of Prosciutto, covering them completely. (this is going to help keep the cheese inside the breast)
Remove the chicken breasts from the brine, pat dry inside and out with a paper towel. Sprinkle with ground pepper all over, inside and out. Slather the inside of each breast with ¼ of the butter mixture followed by the prosciutto-wrapped cheese and fold over to enclose. Wrap each breast with 3-5 pieces of kitchen twine to seal the overlap. I've tried toothpicks, but have found that they are very difficult to implement sufficiently to seal the expanding cheese within. If you feel confident about your tooth-picking-prowess, be my guest. (And don't forget to oil your string before lacing.)
(grill the chicken)
Tent the breasts and let rest about 10 minutes before snipping the strings. If you are going to be slicing the breasts into medallions for presentation, do so before you snip the strings.
A good sweet rub for the chicken would also kick this up a notch. (see: Seven Spice Rub or Jack Daniel's Grill Glaze)