Recipe for Baked Chicken Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Basil, and Goat Cheese (phase one)
posted by Kalyn Denny on September 22, 2006
Yesterday I posted a really great recipe for Baked Chicken Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Basil, and Goat Cheese. I loved the way this recipe turned out, and if you like the sound of those ingredients I hope you’ll try it. I actually made that chicken nearly two weeks ago when a friend at school brought me the jar of the sun-dried tomato pesto I showed in the step-by-step instructions. That jar of pesto was the one that inspired me to try making my own Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, something I still can’t stop eating.
In the post yesterday, I explained how I realized it would be easier to spread the filling on the chicken if I buzzed the pesto, basil and goat cheese a few times in the food processor. When I did that last night to test it, I had to take another photo for the step-by-step instructions. Well of course, I had to cook that chicken breast didn’t I?
Here’s the thing. Six days ago I started back on phase one of the South Beach Diet. I’d definitely been cheating a little on South Beach and needed to regroup. Not that I had gained a lot of weight, only a few pounds. But in the month of October I’m going to be doing some traveling, and when I travel I like to eat anything I want. I decided a little phase one “insurance” was in order to prepare me for fitting into my skinny jeans for the trips.
I hadn’t done phase one for quite a while, and I’d forgotten how great it is. I know everyone has different body chemistry, but for me, within six days my stomach is noticably flatter, I have more energy, and I’ve lost 4 1/2 pounds. The front of the South Beach Diet Book says “lose belly fat first” and I swear to you, it’s absolutely true. This is why I love the South Beach Diet. It’s so easy to maintain your weight by going on phase one for a week or two whenever you need a diet tune-up.
Anyway, that’s a very long introduction to say that this is the Phase One version of yesterday’s recipe that I promised. I’m going to print the entire recipe here for people who might find it while searching for South Beach recipes, but I suggest you look at yesterday’s post for Baked Chicken with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto, Basil and Goat Cheese to see the step-by-step instructions.
I did think this turned out to be just as tasty as the original version, so if you’re on phase one, I don’t think you’ll feel deprived. And when I was chatting online today with my favorite Gluten-Free Goddess, I realized that with the changes I made, it’s also a gluten-free recipe.
Baked Chicken Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Basil, and Goat Cheese
(6 servings, recipe created by Kalyn, a phase one and gluten-free version of the original recipe)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated using fine grater
6 oz. goat cheese (log type, such as Chevre)
6 oz. purchased or homemade Sun-dried tomato pesto
1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F. Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts. Put chicken breasts, one at a time, inside a heavy plastic plastic freezer bag and pound with meat mallet or other heavy object until 1/4 inch thick.
Put pesto, goat cheese, and chopped basil in food processor and buzz a few times until mixture is combined but not completely blended. Spread 1/6 of pesto/basil/goat cheese mixture on each chicken breast. Roll up chicken, starting with smallest end, tucking in loose pieces and securing with two toothpicks.
Put parmesan cheese in flat dish, and roll each rolled up chicken breast in the cheese, patting on so you get as much cheese sticking on as you can. (You could dip the chicken in beaten egg if you wanted to get more cheese to stick, but mine stuck on quite well without it.)
Spray glass casserole dish with nonstick spray and arrange chicken so pieces are not touching. Bake 350 F 40-50 minutes, or until chicken is slightly browned and firm, but not hard to the touch. I recommend you start checking it after 40 minutes, and remove from oven as soon as the chicken feels firm and is slightly browned. Serve hot.
Caution: I did notice that the cheese that fell off the chicken burned in the bottom of the pan before the chicken was done, so you might want to be aware of that and remove it if you see some cheese starting to burn.