Bruschetta Stuffed Chicken

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Today’s recipe is for Bruschetta Stuffed Chicken. In the past I’ve been weary of cooking chicken breasts, often times they take forever in the oven and I’m worried about drying out the chicken. But recently I was inspired by this chicken recipe, and I thought, why not just blast them on high heat? So, I gave it a try and presto, I got moist chicken breasts that took about a half hour in the oven.

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That being said I nee you to bear in mind, when you make this in your own kitchen that the cooking times and the amount of filling you will need is going to vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts. Mine happenend to be pretty big, so if you have some that are on the smaller side they will most definately take less time to bake.

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One more thing, this recipe is great for making ahead of time. Stuffing the chicken and letting it set, enhances the flavor the longer the filling has a chance to sit and let the flavors meld together. I even find that the leftovers taste even better than when I cook them for the first time.

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Bruschetta Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients for Stuffing:

  • 1  tomato, medium sided, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/4 c grated cheese (Parmesean, Romano, or Asiago, or a blend of the 3)
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil

Ingredients for crumb coating

  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c grated cheese
  • 1/3 c breadcrumbs, unseasoned
  • 3 chicken breasts

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Assemble all of your ingredients for the filling into a small mixing bowl and set aside.

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Spray a baking sheet or pan with cooking spray and set aside. Butterfly the chicken breasts. I rarely do a nice job on this, so don’t worry if you butcher it a bit, they will still be tasty. Just make sure there is some semblence of a pocket to put the filling in.

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Combine the ingredients for the crumb coating (except chicken) on a plate. Take the butterflied chicken breasts and coat the outside in the breadcrumb mixture.

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Place the chicken breasts on the prepared cooking pan and spoon 1/3 of the tomato basil mixture into the pocket of the chicken. Repeat this process with all the chicken breasts.

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If I have any left over breadcrumb mixture, I sprinkle it on top of the chicken and pat some more into the sides of the breasts.

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Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes (depending on the side of your chicken breasts). Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before eating, this is important, because this helps the chicken breasts retain their moisture.

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Buon Appetito!

Can’t get enough of homemade Italian food? Check out my articles on homemade pasta sauce and homemade meatballs.

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Bruschetta Stuffed Chicken

Ingredients:

For the stuffing:

  • 1  tomato, medium sized, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/4 c grated cheese (Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago, or a blend of the 3)
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil

For the crumb coating:

  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c grated cheese
  • 1/3 c bread crumbs, unseasoned
  • 3 chicken breasts

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.Assemble all of your ingredients for the filling into a small mixing bowl and set aside.

Spray a baking sheet or pan with cooking spray and set aside. Butterfly the chicken breasts. I rarely do a nice job on this, so don’t worry if you butcher it a bit, they will still be tasty. Just make sure there is some semblance of a pocket to put the filling in.

Combine the ingredients for the crumb coating (except chicken) on a plate. Take the butterflied chicken breasts and coat the outside in the breadcrumb mixture.

Place the chicken breasts on the prepared cooking pan and spoon 1/3 of the tomato basil mixture into the pocket of the chicken. Repeat this process with all the chicken breasts.

If I have any left over breadcrumb mixture, I sprinkle it on top of the chicken and pat some more into the sides of the breasts.

Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes (depending on the side of your chicken breasts). Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before eating, this is important, because this helps the chicken breasts retain their moisture.

The Meatball Formula

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A few weeks ago I shared with you my recipe for pasta sauce. It was a very personal recipe to me which brings back memories of childhood. As much as any one kind of food can be, my homemade pasta sauce is part of who I am. It makes me think of my Nana, whom I was very close with, it makes me think of my Mom who taught me how to make it, and mostly it makes me think of Sunday dinners with family sitting around the table. As with my pasta sauce recipe, my homemade meatballs have a similar effect. To me a bowl of pasta and sauce with meatballs is home. The ultimate comfort food. And most importantly a part of my past. A page in my family history.

So with that, I introduce to you my recipe for meatballs aka the meatball formula. I’m calling this a formula because this seems to be the perfect ratios for what I consider the ultimate meatball. The formula calls for 3 lbs of ground meat. I like to use ground beef and ground turkey in a 2:1 ratio, so I typically use 2 lb of ground beef and 1 lb of ground turkey.

Now, keep in mind you can easily modify this; for example, you can use 1 lb of ground pork or veal in the place of turkey. Did my Nana make meatballs with ground turkey? No. Did she bake them in the oven? No, she fried them. But this is how I make my meatballs, so feel free to put your own spin on it.

Similarly to when I make pasta sauce I make big batches of meatballs, and freeze them so that I can defrost a few at a time as needed. The meatball formula can be doubled to make an army of meatballs, or reduced to make an amount appropriate to your needs. But, as I’ve said before, it’s my blog so I get to do it my way.

The Meatball Formula

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups breadcrumbs
  • 3 cups Romano cheese, grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • salt, a generous pinch
  • pepper, a pinch

Directions:

Combine all ingredients one large mixing bowl.

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Mix with hands until all ingredients are evenly distributed. It’s messy, and cold but get in there! This my favorite way to cook-with my hands!

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Once the mixture is evenly mixed it’s time to start forming meatballs.

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Roll the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on lightly greased baking pans.

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I also like to make a few dozen mini (1/2 in) meatballs to add to soups.

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These mini meatballs do not need to be browned before freezing or cooking. Just toss them into soups as they are boiling.  Aren’t they adorable?

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Preheat oven to 375  and bake the meatballs for 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the oven and flip the meatballs over so that all sides brown evenly. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, the meatballs should be lightly browned on the outside.

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If freezing the meatballs, first freeze them on the baking pan, then after 12-24 hours transfer them to a large freezer bag. This way they will not stick together and you can easily remove as many as you need for meals.

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If cooking let the meatballs cook with sauce for a few minutes to ensure they are cooked all the way through. These meatballs make delicious meatball subs or sliders, or are perfect to go with some pasta and sauce.

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I hope you enjoy these meatballs as much as I do! Buon appetito!

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Baked Italian Meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups bread crumbs
  • 3 cups Romano cheese, grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • salt, a generous pinch
  • pepper, a pinch

Directions:

Combine all ingredients one large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until all ingredients are evenly distributed.

Once the mixture is evenly mixed roll the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on lightly greased baking pans.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake the meatballs for 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the oven and flip the meatballs over so that all sides brown evenly. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, the meatballs should be lightly browned on the outside.

If freezing the meatballs, first freeze them on the baking pan, then after 12-24 hours transfer them to a large freezer bag. This way they will not stick together and you can easily remove as many as you need for meals.

If cooking let the meatballs cook with sauce for a few minutes to ensure they are cooked all the way through.