Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beet and Basil Stuffed Chicken Breasts

If you've ever had a CSA, you've probably had the 'problem' of too many beets.  What starts out as a bounty of beet salads quickly turns to beet drudgery.  But beets can do so much more than look pretty atop a pile of lettuce!  This dish is delicious and, while it takes a bit of effort, really looks more impressive than it is difficult.

- 2 plump chicken breasts
- 2-4 golden beets, roasted and peeled
- a generous handful of fresh basil
- salt, pepper, and olive oil

- With a sharp knife, slice the chicken breast nearly in half to butterfly it open.
- Sprinkle the inside with salt and pepper.
- Place a layer of basil leaves on the bottom then add an overlapping layer of thinly sliced beets.  You want the breast to be quite stuffed.  A few crumbles of goat cheese would also be great in there, but it definitely doesn't *need* it.
- Pull the top flap over the stuffing and secure with two toothpicks.  It's okay if it doesn't completely close.
- Brush the outside with olive oil.  I also topped mine with a few decorative slices of beets that were extra.
- Put the breast in an oven safe pan or dish (I used a pre-heated cast iron skillet) and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.  You can pop it under the broiler for a few more minutes to brown the top a bit if you'd like.

For the sides:
- Combine 1 cup French green lentils with 1 1/2 cups water (or chicken broth) and 1 tsp salt and 1 tbsp whole grain mustard.  Ideally let it soak for two hours before cooking.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook until the liquid is absorbed.

- Wash a trim green beans.
- Toss them with a drizzle of olive oil, a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of salt, and a dash of cayenne.
- Roast them in the oven along with the chicken, though in their own dish.
- Pour any juices over the lentils when serving.

The chicken breasts can be stuffed ahead of time, covered, and refrigerated.  The recipe is easily multiplied to feed a crowd, just don't crowd too many in the same pan or you'll increase the cooking time.  If you're looking to make the meal a little lighter, serve the chicken breasts along side chilled lentils or a salad.


1 comment:

  1. Love the idea! I love beets, but have never used them like this. I absolutely hate cooking, but your posts encourage me to try something very new with just a few ingredients. Thanks for sharing. I love the blog.