Sunday, February 8, 2009

Stuffed chicken thighs

Stuffed chicken is a great meal! There are so many different flavours and it's really easy to just make up your own stuffing mixture, really. It could be lemon flavour, traditional onion and sage, cranberry, olive and sun dried tomato, or in this case, pesto....the list can go on and on....

Breast is typically used for this sort of dish but I thought why not try thighs! It's my favourite part of the chicken as I find it much softer and tender than breast. But this is just me. Of course breast works well too. Take your pick ;)
With this stuffed chicken I served steamed asparagus and roasted potatoes.

(Feeds 2-4 people)
8 boneless/skinless chicken thighs
2 tbsp red pesto
1/2 cup plain light cream cheese
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (approximately 3 slices of bread) - use wholewheat bread for a healthier choice

Salt and pepper to taste

- Flatten each thigh to 5-10 cm thick using a meat mallet.
(I don't have a meat mallet so wrap the chicken in cling film and flatten with a rolling pin)
- In a bowl mix cream cheese, pesto and bread crumbs together. Season with salt and pepper as desired
- With all chicken thighs laid out place a spoonful of cream cheese mixture on each. Carefully wrap chicken thighs around the stuffing mixture (sort of rolling like you would a fajita wrap). Try to allow ends to overlap)
- Grease a large baking dish and carefully place each chicken with overlapping end facing down
- Season the top of the chicken pieces as desired
- Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for approximately 30min, until chicken is cooked through

Note: I didn't do any frying to the chicken as I wanted to keep it as healthy as possible. If you would like to add more colour and a bit more flavour just fry the chicken a bit before putting it in the oven. Fry chicken pieces in a hot pan for a minute or two on each side (down side first to make sure it stays closed when turning over). The cooking time in the oven should be a little less in this case.
I haven't done this yet myself but I'm going to keep it in mind for next time

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