April 8, 2010

... Blue Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Buffalo Sauce

The fun thing about cooking is that it's not always perfect.  There's a lot of trial and error, several mistakes and it encourages you to bring out the creative side to fix what may not be just what you'd envisioned.  I found this recipe in Cooking Light and it had me at "blue cheese-stuffed."  It was a must-make if I'd ever seen one.  It seemed easy enough: mix up this gorgeous blue cheese scrumptiousness, stuff it in a chicken breast, coat it with breadcrumbs and cook it in the skillet.  What's difficult about that?  

This is where those mistakes I mentioned early come into play.  The recipe wasn't absolutely clear on how to cut the chicken.  Where do I put the pocket for the blue cheese?  On top?  In the side?  I went with the former as you can see above.  Then I proceeded with the rest of the recipe... dredge the chicken in flour, then in egg, then in Panko breadcrumbs.  Pop it in a skillet and cook it for a few minutes on each side.  Easy, right?  Well....

That's when the 'oops' set in.  I started to flip the chicken from side one to side two and what do you think happened to all that blue cheese scrumptiousness?  Yep, that's right... it came out in the pan.  Doh!  Lesson learned: when stuffing a chicken breast, make the pocket in the side of the chicken, not on top.  (Hey, I've never said I was a brilliant cook...)

So, while all that's going on, Rich had done a great job at making the Buffalo Sauce (although I'd more likely call it a tomato sauce) and we whipped up some blue cheese smashed red potatoes and broccolini to accompany the chicken.

The end result was actually pretty tasty... just not very blue-cheesy.  Next time I'll know better.

Blue Cheese-Stuffed Chicken with Buffalo Sauce
serves 4

1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons 2% reduced fat milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
6 tablespoons finely chopped drained bottled roasted red bell peppers
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.  Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket.  Stuff cheese mixture evenly into pockets.

Place flour in a shallow dish.  Combine milk and egg in a shallow dish, stirring well with a whisk.  Place panko in a shallow dish.  Working with 1 chicken breast half at a time, dredge chicken in flour, then dip in egg mixture, dredge in panko.  Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, flour, egg mixture, and panko.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon butter to pan; swirl until butter melts.  Arrange chicken in pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned.  Turn chicken over; place skillet in oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.

While chicken bakes, combine remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons butter, bell peppers, water, Worcestershire, and garlic in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer; cook until butter melts.  Remove from heat, and stir in hot sauce.  Serve sauce with chicken.

Taylor's Notes:
See above... make the pocket in the side of the chicken, not the top.  Other than that, just follow the recipe and Enjoy!

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