July 22, 2013

Mozzarella, Prosciutto & Pesto Walk Into A Chicken Breast...

When we're trying to figure out what to cook for dinner, it sometimes feels like an episode of Chopped.  We rack our brains to determine what's in the fridge/pantry, what items may be on the verge of going bad and what needs to be used soon, and then figure out how to make the components all work together.  Sometimes you gotta improvise! That's exactly how dinner came together the other night.

We had some frozen chicken breasts, prosciutto and a bag of arugula left over from our grilled cheeses, as well as some fresh mozzarella from our pasta.  So we decided to stuff the chicken with prosciutto and mozzarella, and top it with an arugula pesto.

So let's start with the pesto.  As with any pesto, no matter what herb/green you use, you want to process all the dry ingredients before adding in your oil.  Since we had arugula on hand, we used that, along with a bit of fresh parsley, snipped from our plant.  Toss in a couple cloves of garlic, toasted pine nuts, parmesan cheese and a few sun-dried tomatoes.  The acidity of the sun-dried tomatoes really helped to balance out the spiciness of the arugula.
Just pop it all into a food processor and blend it all up.  Add some salt and pepper to taste, and then drizzle in your olive oil until it reaches your preferred consistency.  We didn't want it too thick and chunky, or too oily, so add the olive oil with caution.
Now for the chicken.  Our chicken breasts weren't very thick, so it was easiest to just pound them out into an even thickness.  We seasoned the insides with salt, pepper, red chili flake, and a bit of dried basil.
Lay your prosciutto and slices of mozzarella on one half of the chicken.  Then just fold the other side of the chicken breast over on top, forming a sandwich.  Secure the openings with a couple toothpicks, and then season the outside of your chicken.  Since we were throwing the chickens on the grill, we made sure to soak the toothpicks in some water so they wouldn't catch fire on the grill.
Once you've got all your chickens stuffed, seasoned, and toothpicked, you can throw 'em on the grill.  Ours took about 10 minutes per side to cook through, but the cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chickens.

When your chickens are cooked through, just pull the toothpicks out, top with your pesto, and serve!

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