If you’re still looking around for main dishes inspiration for the holidays, this stuffed chicken breast rolled « porchetta style » makes a fantastic option that will delight your guests. With an almost startlingly crispy bacon layer and flavorful stuffing, everything cooks together on one pan for less dishes, and who could ever say no to all that bacon and cheese?
Ingredients list for the Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- 2 medium chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 1/2 cup dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
- 1 scallion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Fresh chives, chopped
- Fennel seeds
- 1 cup ricotta
- 12 bacon strips
- Fresh cracked black pepper
1. Chop dried tomatoes and scallion, grind fennel seeds and black pepper in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle until very fine. Toss spice mixture and salt in a small bowl and combine with garlic, thyme, scallion, tomatoes and ricotta. Set aside.
2. Pat chicken breasts dry and place on a cutting board. Place your hand flat on top of the chicken breast, and slice into one side. Start at the thicker end and finish at the thin point, without slicing through to the other side. Open the chicken breast. It should resemble a butterfly shape. Proceed same way with the second chicken breast. Now arrange the chicken breast together side to side, inverting the direction so they assemble evenly. Make sure there is a slight overlap. The idea is to create a layer of meat of uniform thickness across the entire breasts.
3. Spread the ricotta paste all over flesh of chicken to coat evenly, working into crevices. Roll up chicken breasts like to form a log. Loop a length of string around outside edge and tie closed. Starting at center, tie with kitchen twine at even intervals.
4. Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C) Preheat a cast iron or oven proof skillet and brown chicken until skin is golden and starting to crisp on all sides, 10 minutes. Remove from skillet and carefully remove strings with kitchen shears. Arrange bacon slices on a flat surface, slightly overlapping and place the chicken roll on top, bottom side up. Drape chicken with bacon slices then turn the whole thing and put back into the skillet or on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until cooked through, 30–40 minutes.
5. Increase oven temperature to 400°F (200°C) and cook until bacon is browned and crisp and a thermometer registers 150°F (65°C) when tucked inside the roast, 5–10 minutes longer. Transfer to a platter and let chicken rest at least 40 minutes before slicing, the cuts will be neater. Reheat quickly covered in the oven then serve with pan juices.
Note: If you’re more on the Thanksgiving side, this recipe works wonders with turkey, depending on the size of the breasts, you might use just one instead of two.