Roasted Pepper Stuffed Chicken Breast

This recipe is a little involved and it requires a bit of patience, but the result is tasty, a little spicy and deliciously cheesy!  It was designed for two people, but can be easily multiplied to feed a bigger group.  This can also be made ahead and stored in the fridge and cooked later.  If you want to up the indulgence level a bit, melt a few tablespoons of butter, dip the chicken into it and then roll it around in a bowl of seasoned bread crumbs.  Then bake as directed, but do so without the foil.

I love the look and taste of roasted bell peppers.  I was have a severe craving and so I made them inside with the oven.  This is not a great idea if it’s really hot where you live right now, but you can very quickly roast bell peppers on the grill as well.  Then follow the steps after the pepper is removed from the oven.  This is sort of a two part recipe, but you can make the peppers ahead of time and even make a lot of them and store them in the fridge.  I actually recommend making the peppers at least a day ahead as they have to cool completely before the skins can be removed.

Roasted Bell Pepper Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 bell pepper, quartered with stem and seeds removed
  • Non-stick spray
  • Olive oil (if storing)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees

Cover a small baking sheet with foil.  Spray with non-stick spray and place the peppers on the baking sheet skin side up.

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Place baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven.

Check after 15 minutes.  If the skins aren’t properly charred (as shown in picture below) then put them back in and check again after 5 minutes.

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Once the skins are totally charred and browned, remove the peppers from the oven and place them in a heat safe bowl.  Cover the bowl tightly, sealing the peppers in with their own steam.  I used the same foil that I baked the peppers on, just flipped it around.  This process fully cooks and softens the pepper while making the skin easier to remove.  Let them sit for at least 30 minutes or until they are cool.

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The skins should now slide off fairly easily.  If you still have trouble removing the skins, a dip in an ice bath can help get the last bits off.

If you are going to store them, place them in an airtight container and top with enough olive oil to cover them.  They can be refrigerated for up to a month (even more)!

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • (Optional: 2 tablespoons Italian dressing of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (Italian seasoning would also be good if you are not a big spicy person)
  • 8oz fresh mozzarella cheese sliced into 6 slices
  • 8 basil leaves
  • ½ bell pepper roasted (instructions below)
  • Non-stick spray
  • ¼ cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray the bottom of glass baking dish (8×8 if doing two breasts, 9×13 if you want to double the recipe)

If you have the time and the desire, place the breasts in a sealable plastic bag (or shallow container) and add the Italian dressing.  Make sure the dressing covers all of the chicken.  Let this marinate for 30 minutes.  This step is not necessary, but it will ensure that your chicken stays moist during the baking process.

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Set up a space on your counter where you can pound out the chicken to prepare it for rolling.  I like to put a bit of plastic wrap down on the work surface for added protection.  Then get two pieces of parchment paper.

Place one piece under the chicken and the other on top.  Use the flat side of you meat mallet (a rolling pin can be used to achieve the same effect) and pound out the chicken so they are equal in thickness and are rollable.

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Place a thin slice of mozzarella on the bottom, top with 2 basil leaves, a quarter of the roasted pepper and two more basil leaves.  Roll the chicken up and secure it with as many toothpicks as it takes to close it.  As you can see, my roll ups are pretty messy and ugly, but that’s okay!  They will be smothered in cheese by the end!  Cover the dish with tin foil.

 

 

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Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 25-35 minutes.  The chicken should no longer have any pink in the middle.  Remove from the oven and set the oven to broil (the high setting).  Make sure there is a rack set up in the top third of the oven.  This is a good time to (carefully) remove the toothpicks.  The chicken should more or less hold it’s shape thanks to the cooking process.

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Top the breasts with the remaining mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of the Parmesan.  Place under the broiler and keep watch!  It will brown quickly! My chicken took about 4 minutes to brown and was perfect after 5. When it is browned to your preference, remove from the oven and let cool for several minutes.  Be sure to remove all the toothpicks before serving this, especially if serving to children.

I suggest serving this meal over buttered noodles, a lightly dressed salad or with roasted vegetables.

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What did you think of today’s recipe?  What are your favorite chicken dishes for the summer?  Let us know in the comments!

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