Monday, January 17, 2011

What's Cooking?

It occurred to me earlier this week when I posted the following recipe on Facebook, that I should use my (terminally neglected) blog to post my favorite edible creations, great recipes I discover, as well as posting any recipes you all would like to share. After all, and despite how un-PC this sounds, everyday cooking usually falls into most Mom's to-do column.

I love cooking, but since I am an intuitive cook, I will have to strive harder to give you more precise ingredient amounts and cooking times than in the recipe below, though I will probably still use the term "ish" a lot. "Ish" means: according to your personal taste and what you have on hand:). I also will take pictures as I go along with my real camera, instead of my Forest Gump smart phone (it's not so smart, but it gets the job done).

Anyone that wants to share a recipe, give me a'll get full culinary credit.

So here is my introductory recipe...hope you like it!

Bacony Cheesy Goodness Stuffed Chicken Breasts

3-4 chicken breasts

½ cup low fat Italian Dressing

½ cup white wine (plus a little more;)

Five (ish) slices of bacon cut into fingernail (?) size bits

6-7 (ish) sliced mushrooms

Approximately 1/3 cup of sliced onion (give or take, based on preference)

3-4 tbsp Feta cheese crumbles

3-4 slices of Provolone cheese

3-4 tbsp of butter

2 (ish) cups of Panko bread crumbs

On the straighter side of the breast, carefully cut a slit about 2 ½ inches long, reaching in with the knife and making a good sized pocket. Be careful not to cut through any of the sides.

Toss the prepared chicken into a Ziploc or other container with the dressing and the wine; let them marinate in the fridge while preparing the stuffing.

(If you are as prone as I am to self inflicted clothing stains as I am, remember to put on your apron before you ruin yet another favorite shirt with bacon grease.)

In a large sauté pan (10-12 inches), fry the bacon bits for a couple minutes till they start to brown. Add the onion and sauté for a couple more till the onions start to become translucent. Add mushrooms. Stir a couple more minutes, until mushrooms start to shrink a little. Warning: the aroma at this point will starve you to death. Throw a splash of the white wine in to deglaze the pan. Go ahead and take a "test" drink straight from the bottle.

If you like the taste of the vino, add another healthy splash to the pan. Sauté a minute or two till the wine reduces. Take off the heat; spoon mixture into a bowl and set aside. Leave all the flavored fatty drippings in the pan. We’ll come back to that…

When the bacon mixture cools a tad, mix in the feta.

Preheat the oven to 350*

Remove chicken from the marinade. For each breast, take a halved provolone slice and insert in the cavity, spreading the two halves to cover the most territory. Spoon the bacon mixture in, making sure to tuck it to the corners. When all the chicken breasts are stuffed, coat them in the Panko crumbs. (If you'd like to add more fat/calories/time to the recipe, you can first coat the breasts in flour, and then run them through an egg wash before the Panko crumbs. I've found that an oil based marinade adheres the crumbs just dandy.)

Stop fooling yourself and just pour a glass of the wine.

Add the butter to the pre-flavored frying pan over med-high heat. Sauté the breasts on each side just till golden, and then transfer to a baking dish lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.

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