Nov 1, 2011

How to Boil Water: Cheese-Stuffed Chicken

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing has gone right? Things have just gone wrong. Basically "Alexander and the No Good Very Bad Day." Well, I'm having one of those months. And it's just started so I guess it's just rolled over from last month. So that being said, I was a little nervous taking on tonight dinner's because it's meat. Dreaded chicken. No that's not what it's called. But it is a Cheese-Stuffed Chicken, which if you are smart (which I know you all are), you have figured out that I have to stuff a chicken. Okay, so not a whole chicken but chicken breasts. I have never had a lot of luck cooking chicken in the past but I'm doing some oven cooking so I figured maybe I can't screw this up. But with the month I'm having then maybe I can. What actually made me the most nervous was that I had to make a pocket in the chicken and stuff it. The stuffing it was not nerve-racking for me, but with all the bad luck things that have been going on lately, I was a bit (a lot) nervous about cutting off my finger or something. But no, everything went smoothly until my Stella cat who was sitting in the chair watching me, turned around and put her tail on one of the chickens and in my reaction, it caused me to spill about half of the insides out of the one I was holding. So maybe that was my one bad luck moment for this meal. We can only hope.

Ingredients:
4 chicken breast halves (2 to 2 1/2 pounds total) - I did only two. Yes there's only two of us, but when you see the size of the chicken I pull out of the bag I bought you will understand. But them being so big means that I only make the two, which works out perfectly and we don't end up with lots and lots of leftovers
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)
1/2 cup crumbed feta cheese (2 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped cocktail peanuts
2 slices bacon and crumbled or 1/4 cup cooked bacon bits - I went with the bacon bits because in this house (apartment) we aren't too fond of bacon, so I didn't want to buy a whole package to make two and smell up the joint just for that. If you're into that kind of thing then by all means, help yourself.
Salt and ground black pepper
Paprika
Bottled ranch salad dressing (optional) - An option that I didn't choose

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350. If desired, skin chicken. Using a sharp knife, make a pocket in each breast half by cutting horizontally from side to side, cutting to but not through the opposite side and leaving edges intact.

In a medium bowl combine mozzarella, feta, peanuts, and bacon. Pack cheese mixture lightly into pockets in chicken (pockets will be full). Place chicken, bone sides down, in a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Lightly sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Bake, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken registers 170 on an instant-read thermometer. If desired, drizzle dressing over chicken before serving.





Well, I wasn't fond of it, but it turned out well. After a few minor setbacks starting Rob decided he liked it. Me, not so much. But that could be for other reasons completely. Luckily there was no Stella hair or anything on my chicken, which really just makes her a lucky cat. So there it is. I didn't burn myself. I didn't choke on my meal. I survived the rest this meal with only a one major issue, which is nice to know I can blame on Stella.

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