Recipes Main Courses Poultry and Game Baked Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Arugula and Fontina
Baked Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Arugula and Fontina

Baked Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Arugula and Fontina

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Arugula has a peppery, slightly bitter bite and a delicate, tender texture. In this simple stuffing, it is matched with fontina, which adds a richness and mild nuttiness. The panko coating cooks to a crisp, light finish in the hot oven, delivering a perfect counterpoint to the creamy melted cheese at the heart of each roll.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 5 oz. fontina cheese, preferably fontina Val d'Aosta
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each about 7 oz.
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 16 arugula leaves, tough stems removed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

Directions:

Position a rack in the upper third of an oven and preheat to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Trim off and discard the rind from the cheese. Cut the cheese into four 2-by-1 1/2-inch rectangles about 1/8 inch thick.

Using a flat meat pounder, pound each chicken breast half until flattened to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch. Season the chicken breasts with the salt and pepper.

Place 1 chicken breast, with the long side facing you, on the work surface. Top with one-fourth of the garlic and 4 arugula leaves, torn as needed to fit the breast half, leaving a 1-inch border uncovered on all sides. Top with a piece of cheese. Starting at a short end, roll up the breast, tucking in the arugula as needed; set seam side down. Repeat with the remaining chicken, garlic, arugula and cheese.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. In a shallow dish, stir together the bread crumbs, oregano and rosemary. One at a time, coat a rolled chicken breast with the egg mixture and then roll in the bread crumbs, coating evenly. Place the breaded breasts, seam side down, on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the oiled baking dish in the oven and heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Carefully arrange the breaded breasts, seam side down, in the hot dish. Drizzle evenly with the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Bake until the bread crumbs are golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of a stuffed breast registers 170°F, 25 to 35 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a carving board. Cut each stuffed breast crosswise into slices about 1/2 inch thick and transfer to warmed individual plates. Serve immediately, and pass the lemon wedges at the table. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Chicken, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2008).