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Chicken Breast Stuffed with Cheese, Tomato, and Basil
As provided by Shirley Schoener, printed in Recipes & Remembrances of High Hill by the St. Anne’s Society of High Hill, TX, 2010
4 (14oz) bone-in chicken breast halves
½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup drained oil packed sun-dried tomato halves (8)
2 peeled garlic cloves
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
Coarse salt and ground black pepper
2 oz. fontina or mozzarella cheese, cut into 4 pieces
2 tsp. olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil, set aside. With paring knife, cut one-inch long slit in the thick side of the breast. Insert knife without enlarging opening, carefully work around inside to form a pocket (do not go through other side). On cutting board, pile basil, tomatoes, garlic, zest, on tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper; finely chop. Divide mixture evenly and spoon into breast pockets, spreading it around. Insert pieces of cheese in each breast pocket. Close pockets using two to three toothpicks per breast. Arrange skin side up on baking sheet. Rub with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until well browned and instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part (avoiding bone if left with breast) reads 165 degrees, 30-35 minutes. Let chicken rest five minutes. Remove toothpicks before serving. Hints: buy boneless skinless chicken. Make a rather long slit for the pocket. Grate the cheese and mix with other ingredients. Soak chicken breasts in salt water for eight hours, which flavors chicken through and through, then limit the salt and pepper addition.