Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Herb & Lime Stuffed Chicken Breast

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Lime_Chicken_Bacon_webThis is easy to make and if you follow the resting steps of the herb paste/filling as well as the chicken you will have a dish that present layers of fresh and wonderful tastes. 

Servings 4 

4 150g (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 garlic cloves, crushed

16 fresh basil leaves

4 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped

2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

2 tbsp olive or coconut oil

1-2 large tomato, thinly sliced

Juice and rind from 1 lime or lemon

4 slices provolone cheese (provolone  is a mozzarella style cheese with a fuller flavour) Use mozzarella if you can’t get provolone

12 slices streaky, chemical free bacon (In New Zealand I use Hendersons Bacon)

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

4 tbsp chopped Italian parsley

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to season

 

Herb Paste/Filling 

I prepare the filling the day before so it can rest in the fridge to develop its flavour to the fullest. 

Using a mortar and pestle add the garlic, herbs, oil and season with salt and pepper. Grind the ingredients to a pulp. Once pulped transfer to a small container, cover and transfer to the fridge and store over night. 

Chicken

In the morning wash and pat dry the chicken breasts and place them on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice a pocket in each chicken breast horizontally, without slicing them completely in half or opening the ends. I cut to about 1cm (1/2 inch) of the edges to create a nice pocket to take the filling. 

Open the chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper inside the pocket and then on the outside of the chicken breasts. Add to a large resealable bad and add the line juice and rind. Seal and shake well to cover all the chicken surface areas. Rest in fridge for at least 1 hour. I usually rest for 4-6 hours. 

Remove the chicken and filling made the day before from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to come to room temperature. 

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F) 

Remove the chicken breasts and sit on a chopping board. Place 2 or 3 tomato slices in each pocket and then spread 1 tsp of the herb filling across the tomato in each pocket. Spread 1 tbsp of fresh Italian parsley on top of the herb paste 

Top the tomatoes with 1 slice of cheese, and close the pocket and seal with about 3 toothpicks. Wrap 3 slices bacon around each chicken breast. 

Cook in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Turn chicken, and cook for 15 minutes more. 

Remove from oven, and sprinkle chicken with Parmesan. Return to oven, and cook until cheese is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes. 

Remove from oven, tent (cover) with foil and rest for 5-8 minutes before serving. Once rested and as you plate them up you can remove the toothpicks. 

Serve the breasts with a fresh seasonal salad or for Winter on a creamy sweet potato mash with your choice of seasonal fresh steamed vegetables.

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