Monday, November 8, 2010

Stuffed Chicken Thighs

I'm about to post photos that I'm ashamed of. (Not that kind.) (...this time.)

Stuffed Chicken Thighs

3 tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
6 campari tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped (or enough of another variety tomato to yield about 1 1/2 cups chopped tomato)
Salt and pepper
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
10-15 basil leaves
6 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
1 1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Olive oil

Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium skillet. Add garlic and cook gently for about 5 minutes (do not let the garlic brown). Add tomatoes and increase heat to medium high; cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have cooked down and have taken on a jam-like consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Speaking of crappy pictures...

Let's pretend that never happened.

Lay a chicken thigh on a flat surface. Lay a basil leaf on the meat (or two leaves, if you think they're small). Spread about 1 tablespoon of the tomato mixture on the basil. Sprinkle about 1 tbsp. of cheese on the tomato mixture. Roll up, sealing as well as possible, and coat with bread crumbs. Lay in a lightly greased 8x8 pan. Repeat with remaining chicken.

(Have you ever noticed that raw chicken just does not photograph well? and you'll notice by the end of this post that the chicken ended up in a different pan; this one was too big. whoops.)

Drizzle lightly with olive oil and top with the leftover cheese, if you're feeling frisky. Just make sure your chicken isn't too close to your top burner when you bake them at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

I would make this again, at least that tomato mixture (YUM). But next time, I think I might chop the basil finely and add it to the tomato mixture after it's cooked (and in that case, probably only about 2 tbsp. total chopped basil). I wasn't crazy about the big pieces of basil in the chicken, personally. I'd also use a sharper cheese.

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