I’m not much of a chicken-breast-for-dinner girl. I used to be. When I was younger, it used to be my first choice when I ate at restaurants. Now I prefer chicken *in* my meals instead of chicken *as* my meal. When I saw this recipe, I thought, “Hmmm…. maybe I can bend the rules just this once.” I’m so glad I did. This was a phenomenal meal. So much cheese and basil and a hint of garlic all layered in and on top of a chicken breast that is cooked to perfection… I’m drooling at the thought of it. Serve this along with rice or potatoes or, better yet, these buttermilk biscuits. And swoon.
Source: recipe ingredients and idea from Cook's Illustrated Best Chicken Recipes Cookbook. Cooking methods are my own.
- Pat the chicken breasts dry. Using a paring knife and starting at the center edge of one of the breasts, cut a slit into the breast leaving a 1 inch border around all sides. You will be stuffing the filling into this slit.
- Mix the cheeses, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper together until uniform. Reserve 1/4 cup of the filling. Divide the remaining filling into slit in each of the chicken breasts. Use toothpicks to cinch each of the slits closed.
- Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and heat until shimmering. Place the chicken breasts in the pan without crowding. Cook without disturbing until browned on the bottoms, about 3-5 minutes. Flip the chicken breasts and cook, covered, until a thermometer registers 160 to 165 in the middle of the meat, about 5-10 more minutes. Just before removing the chicken from the pan, remove the pan from the heat and spoon 1 tablespoon of filling over each breast. Cover and let rest for one to two minutes, or until filling is melted over the chicken breasts.
- Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.