Sunday, March 27, 2011

Cilantro Feta Stuffed Chicken

As promised, here is one of the dishes I made using my cilantro pesto! I'm totally into these flavors now, so watch out for more recipes using the cilantro pesto!

Cilantro Feta Stuffed Chicken with Cilantro Rice and Sauteed Fajita Veggies
Stuffed Chicken:
1 chicken breast
2 cilantro pesto cubes
1 TB feta
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
1 TB fresh lime juice

2 cups mixed veggies - zucchini, red pepper, mushroom
1 TB olive oil
2 TB coconut milk
1/2 tsp garlic
1 TB fresh lime juice

Rice, prepared according to package directions
1 cilantro pesto cube

1. Before I left for work in the morning I took out 2 cilantro pesto cubes (for each chicken breast you'll cook) so that they would be defrosted by the time I got home later. This will be the 2 cubes that goes into your stuffed chicken filling.
2. If you want to get your rice cooking first, that may be the part that takes the longest. Follow the rice preparation instructions as it directs on the box - but when the water is boiling and you add the rice, also add in one frozen pesto cube, which will quickly melt. Usually rice will take about 20 minutes, so while the rice is cooking you can work on the rest of your meal.
3. Rinse off your chicken breast and make a cut horizontally through the center (where your filling will go). In a small bowl mix together the 2 defrosted cilantro pesto cubes and the feta, and fill the chicken breast with this filling. Close the chicken breast back up and don't worry about it being sealed - it's okay if some of the filling melts out!
4. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the top, as well as a drizzle of olive oil.
5. Heat a saute pan (that is ovenproof) to medium high heat, spray with Pam (to make sure the chicken doesn't stick), and when the pan is hot add the stuffed chicken breast. As you begin this process heat your oven to 350 degrees.
6. Sear the chicken to brown each side. If you sear for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, you should get the brown seared color and look, and then we'll finish cooking the chicken in the oven. So after you've flipped over once, add the fresh lime juice, finished searing on the 2nd side, and then put the entire pan right into the oven and cook at 350 for another 8 minutes.
7. While the chicken is in the oven finished and the rice is finishing up, you can get your veggies going. In a large nonstick pan over medium high heat add 1 TB of olive oil and heat up. Add your cut up veggies (you can use whichever mixture you'd like - I just used the veggies I had in my fridge that I needed to use up!) and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut milk, garlic and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Saute for an additional 3-5 minutes until your veggies are cooked! Be careful not to overcook - especially with mushrooms and zucchini - they cook fast!
8. This timing should all work well together - just when the rice is about done, the chicken should be coming out of the oven and the veggies should be finishing up. You're ready to eat!

Tip: If you want to step your plating up a bit for a fun occasion you can shape your rice - all you have to do is press a serving of rice into a small measuring cup or bowl. When you turn the rice out on the plate it will keep its shape.

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