Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast with Roast Tomato Pasta

I took chicken out, yesterday morning, thinking it was chicken breast. Imagine my surprise when I found out it was chicken cutlets, LOL. Since it was thawed I had to use it up. I racked my brain as to what to do with this chicken. I decided to stuff it with cheese and bacon and dredge it in crushed croutons. De-lish! It turned out really well. The chicken was juicy with a crunchy crust, the cheese slightly tangy and the bacon nice and smoky. I served it with a roast tomato pasta. I had seen Rachael Ray make pasta sauce using Cherry tomatoes, by letting them burst in a hot skillet. I thought why not roast them in the oven instead, to caramelize the skins, bring out the natural sweetness and make a great sauce. This turned out really well. It's the first time Mr.B ate all his dinner, in weeks. Queenie wolfed her dinner down too, but mostly because it was a late dinner, LOL. Hubby polished off the remainder, when he got home from work. So my creativity turned out to be an awesome dinner!


Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken

4 chicken cutlets
salt and pepper
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 C mozzarella
6 strips of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/4 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder
1 C garlic and herb croutons, crushed to fine crumbs
4 tbs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl mix cream cheese, mozzarella, crumbled bacon, onion powder and garlic powder. Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. Spread 1/4 of cheese mixture on each cutlet. Roll cutlets like a cigar, dip in melted butter and dredge in crushed croutons. Place in a baking dish and drizzle any remaining butter on chicken. Bake for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 170 dregrees. Remove from oven and cover with foil and let rest 15 minutes.

Roast Tomato Pasta

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 box of short cut pasta, such as penne
2 Tbs fresh basil, torn or 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 C Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes on a rimmed cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper. Toss together to coat all tomatoes and cook in oven for 15-20 minutes, until tomatoes burst and begin to roast. Meanwhile cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid in a large bowl. Add tomatoes, making sure to scrape any remaining oil/garlic, from cookie sheet. Using a potato masher, gently mash tomatoes in pasta water, to make a sauce. Add basil, cooked pasta, Parmesan and toss.

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