Monday, May 24, 2010

Chicken breast stuffed with Asparagus and Gouda

I am incredibly sad to say that I do not have pictures to go along with this, as my camera has decided to break. Max was able to snap two photos of the finished product when he came over, but iPhone camera hardly does this justice. I will have to make this again with a working camera so that you can get the full effect another time. If you would like to donate to my new camera fund, please go to www.... just kidding. Always fundraising. Let's get to the point of this.

This is such a "sexy" little chicken dish - sounds good, looks good, tastes good. Simple way to spruce up the every day chicken breast into something that is 4-star restaurant menu worthy and flat out delicious. I came across this recipe on a website, and decided to substitute their provolone cheese for a tastier smoked Gouda for mine. Here we go.

Grocery List:
1/2 Cup of Light Mayonnaise (I use the generic Whole Foods 365 brand)
2 Tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
1 lemon juiced
Lemon zest (I personally do not zest my own lemon, I buy from the spice aisle, to each their own)
2 teaspoons fresh cut or dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
5 asparagus spears per chicken breast
4 boneless chicken breast halves
4 thin slices of Gouda cheese
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Additional needs:
meat mallet
cutting board
medium sized mixing bowl
oven safe baking dish
pastry brush or spoon

Let's first go ahead and pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees and grease your oven safe baking dish.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together your mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, tarragon, salt, 2 shakes of pepper (or more for your personal taste), stirring until the mixture is well combined.

Next, steam your asparagus either in the microwave - as I used this time so that it would be faster - or by steaming in a skillet. If you use the microwave, put your spears on a safe plate with a little water on it for a minute and 1/2, or until bright green and tender.

For this next part, you need your meat mallet - another fun little toy that I now just love! I get more excited these days over new kitchen gadgets and home goods than I do for fabulous clothing and shoes. To quote the teen-angst phenomenon Blink 182, circa 1998-ish, "I guess this is growing up?" Back to this culinary creation... the meat mallet is such a handy tool to have. I tried to replicate prior to owning one by using the blunt force from the end of a big chopping knife (hands protected from blade of course, by thick oven mitt) or by using the bottom of a glass cup, until one day I just said - you know, I can get the $5.99 meat mallet. And that was that.

So take your cutting board and your meat mallet, or whatever you use in it's place, and pound your split chicken breast down to about 1/4 inch thick. Repeat with your other chicken breasts.

Place 1 slice of Gouda on each piece of chicken and top the cheese with 5 asparagus spears. Roll the chicken around the asparagus and cheese relatively tight, then place seam side down in your prepared baking dish. With a pastry brush, or you could simply use the outside of a spoon, apply a coating of your mayonnaise mixture to each chicken. Then sprinkle with panko bread crumbs.

Bake for about 25 minutes at 475 degrees, or until the crumbs are browned. I paired this with my perfect potato recipe and had a fantastic dinner with Mr. Max, having enough for his second helping and my lunch leftovers. One half of the stuffed chicken is rather filling!

a peek-a-boo shot of the inside!

Total calories of the prepared chicken is 350. The potatoes are of course guiltless as you can deduce from the butter and sour cream used, so calories do not exist in regard to them because I sucked them all out during preparation. Perfection.

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