I am terrible at stuffing chicken breasts. I pound out the chicken, make the stuffing, add said stuffing to said chicken, and things roll along pretty smoothly. Then…the stuffing never, ever stays where it’s supposed to. It inevitably oozes out the sides and all over the pan. I know, I know…toothpicks should do the trick, right? Sadly, not in my case. I’m hopelessly stuffing-challenged.
Until now, that is!
I’d read about this strange technique in a Cooking Light magazine a year or so ago and was immediately intrigued. But, like most things I read, it ended up forgotten on my bookshelf along with all of the other recipes and techniques I just knew I had to try someday. Someday…
But then the technique popped up again in a recipe I read about on myrecipes.com. And I rushed to the kitchen to try it. No more procrastinating for me!
The first time I tried this I just stuffed the chicken breast with a goat cheese/sun-dried tomato mixture that I whipped up with things I had on hand. I was pleasantly surprised that it worked SO WELL!! For once, my chicken looked GREAT when I was done – tender chicken surrounded a perfectly centered filling that wasn’t oozing anywhere! Oh, happy day!
So what is this clever technique that makes for such gorgeous, delicious and healthy chicken? After you stuff your chicken, you simply wrap it very tightly in saran wrap, then gently poach it in the saran wrap. That’s it!
This recipe is soooo good and pretty healthy, too! I found that there was no way all those veggies were going to go inside my chicken, so I decided not to worry about it. I stuffed the chicken with as much as I could, and the veggies that didn’t make it as a stuffing became a little “bed” for the sliced chicken. Much easier and looked great, too. You could also just make everything and not bother stuffing the chicken, although it’s a fun process and looks pretty cool when you’re done, so I encourage you to give it a shot!
Vegetable-Stuffed Chicken with Ginger-Hoisin Sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups matchstick-cut carrot
- 2 cups matchstick-cut zucchini
- 1 cup red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
- 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 3 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 5 teaspoons hoisin sauce
To prepare chicken, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 15 seconds. Add carrot, zucchini, and bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add soy sauce and hoisin sauce; sauté 30 seconds. Place carrot mixture in a bowl; cool 5 minutes.
Slice each breast half lengthwise, cutting to, but not through, other side. Open halves, laying breast flat. Place each breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet.
Divide carrot mixture into 4 equal portions; spoon each portion down center of each breast half, leaving a 1/2-inch border at each end. Fold breast sides over filling.
Place a 2-foot-long sheet of heavy-duty plastic wrap on a work surface with 1 long side hanging over the counter’s edge 2 inches. Place a stuffed breast half, seam side down, on the end farthest from you; tightly roll the chicken toward you, jelly-roll fashion. Twist the ends in opposite directions to form a cylinder. Tie plastic wrap in tight knots against the chicken on each end. Trim off excess wrap close to the knot. Place a second 2-foot-long sheet of heavy-duty plastic wrap on the work surface; place rolled chicken on wrap, and repeat procedure. Repeat with remaining chicken breast halves.
Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot; add chicken. Simmer 15 minutes (do not boil), turning occasionally. Remove from water, and let stand 10 minutes before unwrapping and cutting into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
To prepare sauce, combine onions and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with chicken.[/print_this]
Adapted from myrecipes.com