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Sensational "Friday Night" Chicken Breast

Turn an ordinary chicken breast into a special meal

adapted from The California - American Cookbook by Jeanette Ferrary and Louise Fiszer

This recipe serves 2 but can easily be doubled or tripled.

Ask Alexander's butchers about Mary's Free Range chicken breasts

Chicken Breast with Artichoke-Walnut Stuffing

  • 2 large skinned and boned chicken breast halves

  • 1 slice bacon (optional)

  • 3-6 fresh or frozen artichoke hearts cooked until tender (see text about substituting some marinated artichoke hearts)

  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts

  • 1 tsp capers, rinsed

  • 2 - 4 anchovy fillets to taste (we like more)

  • 1/4 tsp oregano

  • 1 1/2 TB grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 small egg

  • Flour mixed with salt and pepper for dredging

  • 2 TB butter

  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • Marinated artichoke hearts for garnish, optional

Pound chicken breasts until thin and rectangular in shape. If they start to tear it is ok to patch things together and pound lightly. They'll stick together. TIP:  It really helps to pound them inside a large, heavy Ziploc (or the like) bag.

Cook the bacon, if using, until nicely browned. Chop into small pieces.

Take 3 artichoke hearts, the walnuts, anchovies, capers and bacon and finely chop together. A small food processor is very good at this. Add the oregano, cheese and egg. Mix until you have a fairly smooth forcemeat. NOTE: if you would like a bit of crunch in your stuffing, do not include the bacon in the first mix, but rather mix it in with the cheese and egg.

Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on your counter and place a chicken breast on it. Place equal amounts of the stuffing in the center of each pounded chicken breast. Fold over the edges and pound lightly to seal. Use the plastic wrap to roll the breast into a log shape. Dredge the filled logs in the flour mixture and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.

Melt the butter in a large skillet, then quickly brown the chicken breasts, about 3 minutes per side. Place the breasts in a buttered baking dish. Add the vermouth and stock to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat, deglazing the pan. Cook about eight minutes or until slightly thickened and syrupy. Pour over the chicken in the baking dish and bake, covered, for about fifteen minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another three to five minutes until done. Serve immediately, topping with the leftover artichoke hearts. OR, instead of cooking additional artichoke hearts, use marinated artichoke hearts instead.

We like to serve this with angel hair pasta topped with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, butter and chives for flavor and garnish. Consider also either cooking some extra artichoke hearts while making the main dish or using marinated artichoke hearts and topping the pasta with them as well.

WINE SUGGESTION: Lucien Crochet Sancerre 2023 from Howie's Wine Cellar

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