Mushroom and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast
Mushroom and cheese stuffed chicken breast is a quick and easy chicken recipe for dinner. I used goat ricotta cheese, shiitake mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and lemon to flavor the meat. Chicken breast can be dry, so I marinated the meat and cooked the chicken for only 15 minutes. It's perhaps more of a roll than a stuffing, but either way, it's delicious.
My mother-in-law is an absolute creature of habit, and when we plan on cooking chicken, her preference is always poulet roti. Contrary to the stereotype, I love my mother-in-law dearly, so don't think I'm complaining, but it takes a miracle to get her to try new things. A couple of nights ago, we had some dinner guests and we had to come up with a main course. We had chicken breasts in the house, but no whole chicken. My mother-in-law was ready to go to the market to get a whole chicken, but I was able to convince her to give this recipe a try.
Given the time crunch, she grudgingly gave in and let me prepare the dish. When she tasted it, she asked me why I haven't made it before! I see a lot of stuffed chicken breasts in my future, and if you try this recipe, I bet you will too!
Yields: 6 servings6 chicken breast halves (about 1-½ pounds), boneless and skinless
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons papaya paste (see tips)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons walnut oil (or regular oil)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
5 ounces goat ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
10 fresh shiitake mushrooms
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup white wine (or water)
4 tablespoons butter, cold
4 tablespoons curly parsley
Zest and juice the lemon. Set them aside separately.
Marinating the chicken:
Remove the fat around the bottom of the breast if there is any. Wash the chicken breasts and pat them dry using paper towels.
Season the chicken with salt, cayenne pepper and pepper. Add the garlic, papaya paste and baking powder. Toss well. Place the chicken in a large bowl or a sealable zip-top bag. Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of white wine and walnut oil. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
Prepping the filling and making the stuffed chicken rolls:
The next day, pat the meat dry one more time using paper towels.
Transfer one chicken breast at a time onto a cutting board previously lined with a piece of plastic wrap. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top of the chicken like a sandwich. Pound the meat using a meat tenderizer mallet to about ½-inch thick.
Separate the stems from the shiitake mushrooms. Finely dice the stems and slice the shiitake mushrooms. Set them aside separately.
In a large non-stick pan, heat about 1 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and cook on heat high until slightly golden. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook until soft and tender, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer the caramelized shallots to a bowl. In the same pan, add the shiitake stems and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer to the same bowl. Add the goat ricotta cheese, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of curly parsley and sun-dried tomatoes.
Place one chicken breast on a cutting board. Spread about 1 to 1-½ tablespoons of the goat ricotta cheese filling evenly over the chicken. Carefully roll up the chicken breast tightly. Secure 2 to 3 toothpicks into the stuffed chicken roll. Using kitchen shears snip the pieces of the toothpick sticking out of the chicken. Repeat with the 5 remaining chicken breasts. Season the outer surface of each roll with more salt and pepper.
Prepping the mushrooms:
In the same pan, add another tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced shiitake mushrooms and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.
Cooking the cheese stuffed chicken rolls:
In the pan, add the rest of the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, pan-sear each side of the roll for about 1-½ minutes (a total of about 9 minutes) until golden. Finish with a drizzle of lemon juice. Quickly transfer the chicken rolls to a platter. At this point the chicken isn't cooked completely; it will finish cooking in the sauce.
Making the mushrooms sauce:
Add chicken broth to the hot pan, bring to a boil and scrape the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon (called deglazing). Reduce (uncovered) the liquid to about 2-3 tablespoons. Add the white wine, bring to a boil again and cook for about 2 minutes. Lower the heat to low. Add 1 tablespoon of cold butter at a time, stirring continuously. Adjust seasoning of the sauce with salt and pepper. Add the reserved sliced shiitake mushrooms, the rest of the sun-dried tomatoes and chicken rolls. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Allow the chicken to rest for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing.
Remove and discard the toothpicks. Slice each roll in half. Cover the chicken rolls with sauce. Serve warm. Garnish with more curly parsley.
I served the stuffed chicken rolls with pommes duchesse on the side.
I used white wine but you could also use dry white Vermouth or even water if you don't want to use alcohol.
Depending on the season, you can also grill the chicken rolls on a barbecue and finish them in the sauce. You can also use any other flavorings (such as cream cheese, goat cheese, parmesan, blue cheese, basil, dates, dried cranberries). Create your own signature dish.
I buy goat ricotta cheese (click on the link for more recipes using this ingredient) at a local store, called the Milk Pail Market - 2585 California Street, Mountain View, CA 94040, but you can order online if you can't find it or simply substitute regular cow's ricotta cheese.
I have to admit it was difficult for me to find the toothpicks. I didn't have any twine left in my pantry but next time, I'll use definitely twine. Or maybe you could snip off enough of the toothpicks to be able to brown the meat but still find the toothpicks in the meat afterwards.
Papaya and baking powder are both great meat tenderizers. This was Baji, Lulu's late grandma's secret for tender and moist meat. Peel a green papaya. Grind the cubed papaya with seeds in a mini food processor, place about 2 teaspoons of papaya paste per slot in an ice-cube tray and freeze them. Transfer the ice-cubes 3 by 3 into sealable plastic bags and place back in the freezer. I think it's the best way to keep the same flavor without getting freezer burn. I store them exactly the same as I would with my extra pesto.Published By: on January 19, 2010.