August 13, 2012

Crispy Baked Provolone-Stuffed Balsamic Chicken

I've created a new Facebook page to go along with the ol' blog here, and did some redecorating. Do you like the new digs??? I think I'm finally in a place where I'm happy with my blog aesthetic and I can start focusing on posting new recipes. I will admit that the new, fancy look is making me feel a little bit pressured to step up my dinner game. I've been sort of lackluster with posting the past few months, and I think the re-do is getting me exciting about blogging/recipe testing again. Now, my creative juices are flowing!

Since we are all friends here, I will let you in on my favorite kitchen secret. My intentions are purely selfish when it comes to meal preparation and trying new menu ideas. I really had a two-fold hidden agenda when I decided to make a new chicken recipe tonight. First, I wanted the folks that are new to my blog to think, "Wow! That chicken looks yummy!!!". (Hey man, I gotta reputation to uphold.) However (and probably more importantly), my main motivation was born out of a need to hide from my children. When I make a new dinner, I can usually shoo the husband and kids upstairs so I can "concentrate" on cooking. Really, "concentrating" boils down to my listening to music and drinking wine while cooking ALONE. It's fantastic. The more involved I tell them the recipe is, the more they leave me alone. I can dance around the kitchen with my wine glass all by myself, and they are none-the-wiser. They think I'm slaving away over a hot stove trying to make magic out of mere ingredients. Ha! Let me tell you, it's quite a sweet little set up!

Sometimes, I truly am an evil genius.

So, here is the new chicken recipe. Tell your family it's really hard to make so you can squirrel away some "me" time, too. You're welcome!!!

(BTW, the chicken was delicious and a total hit with my family. I served it with some roasted cauliflower and everyone happily munched it down. Looking at the photo, I realize it is not the most colorful of meals, but it sure was tasty.)

Crispy Baked Provolone-Stuffed Balsamic Chicken

cooking spray
4 chicken breasts
2 whole eggs, beaten OR 1/2 cup of egg whites
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup regular bread crumbs
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
4 slices of reduced-fat provolone cheese, halved
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare baking sheet and wire rack with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine Panko, regular bread crumbs, garlic powder, garlic salt, and Parmesan cheese. Mix to combine and set aside. In a different small bowl, beat eggs with balsamic vinegar and set aside.

Prepare the chicken breasts by cutting a large slit in the side of each breast, creating a pocket. Take two cheese halves (i.e. 1 slice, halved) and layer it inside of the chicken pocket. Dip and roll each chicken breast in the egg/balsamic mixture until well coated. Then, roll the chicken breast in the bread crumb mixture and place on prepared wire rack/baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Once all breasts are coated and on the rack, drizzle the remaining balsamic egg mixture evenly over each breast. Then, sprinkle the remaining bread crumb mixture over top of each breast. Spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked and juices run clear. Remove the chicken from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

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