This recipe was actually called “Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Fontina, Artichokes, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes” by Amy Finley and the nice folk at Bon Appétit – but I bagged the Fontina for some perfectly lovely Iberico already in my cheese drawer, and so figured I could, ermmm, adjust the title as well.
I am also not a fan, as it were, of oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, but love, Love, LOVE! the actual honest-to-da-Google DRY sun-dried tomatoes I can get if I look for ’em: Tenuta’s sells them wrapped on a meat tray; Rupena’s at The Public Market sometimes has them diced into cunning little slivers in big bowl in their deli case; and this batch I picked up pre-packed in a plastic deli tub at The Elegant Farmer – you can see how nicely they take to a quick pulse though the Cuisinart (that’s the Iberico underneath and the artichokes in the processor bowl). If you’re still not a fan of the tomato, you could, as our friend Bob plans to, try roasted peppers and mazel tov.
•12-oz jar marinated artichokes, drained, coarsely chopped
•1 cup grated Fontina cheese – I used Iberico
•1/2 cup (packed) drained, coarsely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes – see above
•1 tbsp dried basil
•Boneless chicken breast halves – the recipe called for 4 (5 oz) portions, I had a packet of three, oh well
•2 tbsp olive oil
•2 or 3 cloves garlic, diced
•salt and pepper
I also added 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper because I thought the recipe could use a bit of zip and quite liked that pleasant hint of a tingle on my lips, but feel free to leave ’em out.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Stir together the artichokes, cheese, tomatoes, basil, and, if you feel like it, the crushed red pepper in a large bowl and set aside about one cup for the chicken.
Cut a slit to make a pocket in one side of each chicken breast – full disclosure: this worked for me on two of my three bits o’ chicken, that last piece I wrapped in plastic and pounded out a bit.
Divide your cup or so of artichokes ‘n stuff among your chicken pockets (or flattened bits o’ chicken) and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Chicken stuffed or rolled and ready to go?
Heat the olive oil in a heavy oven-proof skillet. Add your diced garlic and sauté for two minutes or so – I should note that the original recipe did not call for garlic, which was, I believe, a problem that needed addressing, but if you don’t feel the need, feel free to leave it out.
Add the chicken and cook for two minutes, then turn over and pop the pan into the oven.
Bake for about ten minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
At this point, you are no doubt saying: “Hey! What about the rest of this artichoke and tomato stuff I have sitting here?”.
Ms. Finley suggested making a frittata, but I was not in the mood; so while the chicken was in the oven, I added some farfalle to some well-salted boiling water. When the chicken was done, I drew out about 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drained the farfalle, returned it to the pan, and tossed it with first the pasta water and then the remaining artichoke, tomato and cheese mixture.
Serve the chicken with the pasta in a bowl – I also drizzled a bit of the yummy, garlicky chicken pan juices over all and added a bit of fresh parsley from teh garden.
If I’d thought ahead – a bit of crusty bread to go with would’ve been just the thing – but for a pretty quick weeknight supper, this was lovely.