Spiced and Fruit-Stuffed Chicken Breasts 8.000

Julia Ewan - The Washington Post

Sep 24, 2008

The initial sear in this preparation is extra work (as opposed to simply roasting the breasts), but it gives the chicken a wonderful, browned crust, which intensifies its flavor.

Make Ahead: The chicken breasts can be stuffed up to 2 days in advance, wrapped well and refrigerated. The chicken and sauce can be made up to 1 hour before serving.


Servings: 8
Ingredients
  • For the chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped mixed dried fruit, such as apricots, apples and raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried plain bread crumbs (may substitute fresh bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (see NOTE)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 medium (56 ounces) chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and tenderloins (reserve tenderloins for another use)
  • For the sauce
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Related Recipes

Directions

For the chicken: Combine the dried fruit, bread crumbs, pine nuts, 2 tablespoons of the oil and half of the parsley in the bowl of a food processor; pulse a few times to combine. Transfer to a medium bowl.

Combine the salt, cumin, black pepper, coriander and cinnamon in a small bowl to form a spice mix.

Cover the work surface with a large piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper; place the chicken on it.

Starting on one side of each chicken breast half, make a horizontal slice, cutting almost all the way through; open the chicken like a book. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap over the butterflied breast and gently pound with a mallet, flattening it evenly to less than 1/2 inch.

Sprinkle the insides of the chicken breast halves using half of the spice mix and then top each with a few tablespoons of the dried fruit mixture. Fold each breast over and secure with a toothpick. Sprinkle the outsides of the breasts with the remaining spice mix. Wrap well and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers (about 1 1/2 minutes). Add 4 of the stuffed chicken breasts and cook undisturbed for 3 minutes, until they have browned on the bottom and release easily from the skillet. Turn them over and cook for about 2 minutes, until the second sides have lightly browned. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet; when it is shimmering, add the remaining chicken and repeat the cooking process. Transfer the stuffed chicken breasts to the lined baking sheet; cover loosely and set aside.

For the sauce: Carefully discard as much oil from the skillet as possible. Set the skillet over high heat; add the cider, broth and vinegar, which will deglaze the skillet. Use a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits and incorporate them into the sauce; cook for about 5 minutes, until the mixture reduces to about 1/2 cup (stay close to the pan toward the end of cooking to avoid scorching). Remove from the heat.

To assemble: Fifteen minutes before you are ready to serve, transfer the stuffed, seared chicken breasts to the oven; roast for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are firm to the touch and just cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest piece should register 165 degrees). Let cool for few minutes, then transfer the chicken to a platter and drizzle with the pan sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining parsley.

Rate it

Recipe Source

From cookbook author Tony Rosenfeld.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.