This Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe is one of my favorites to serve when we have company. Although it’s easy to prepare, the combination of nutty Parmesan, tangy sun-dried tomatoes, and tender artichoke hearts in a perfectly cooked chicken breast is amazing.
PREP AHEAD IF YOU LIKE
I don’t know about you, but I love a recipe that lets me get some of the steps out of the way well ahead of time. Sometimes, when I’m cooking for my family, I just want to avoid the whole homework/dinner rush. When we have company, I like recipes that give me a chance to fix myself (and the house) up before they arrive.
With this Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breasts recipe, you can stuff the chicken breasts then pop them into the fridge while you go about doing whatever you need to do. Just remember and take them out of the refrigerator before preheating the skillet and oven, so they’ve got a chance to reach room temperature.
The stuffing is an effortless blend of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, chopped sundried tomatoes, and marinated artichoke hearts. Since I’m a fan of homemade marinated artichoke hearts, I always have some on hand. My problem is nibbling at them while I’m getting the rest of the stuffing ingredients ready!
If you’ve never stuffed a chicken breast before, it’s not difficult. Just cut a shallow pocket about 1/4 inch deep in the thick side of the breast with the tip of a paring knife. Then, use your fingers to make the pocket bigger without pushing through to the other side. You want to end up with a pocket that’s around 2″ deep that runs the length of the chicken.
Close the pocket with toothpicks, about 3 per chicken breast. It helps if you can slightly overlap the edges of the chicken before sliding the toothpick through. You want to make sure that seam is closed well, so you don’t lose the stuffing to the skillet in the next step.
Preheat your oven to 400° F / 200° C / gas mark 6. Meanwhile, place an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add oil and brown the chicken on both sides — about 3 minutes each side. (If you don’t have an oven-safe skillet it’s okay — you’ll just need to transfer the chicken to a lightly-oiled baking dish after it’s browned.)
Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the chicken for 20 minutes. Be sure to test the temperature and make sure the center reaches 165°F / 74°C. Remove the skillet from the oven and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before you carefully take out the toothpicks.
Served with rice pilaf or my Lemon Asparagus Orzo, these Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breasts are a meal to be proud of. In fact, I think I’ll put them on our menu again this week!
This recipe first appeared on February 25, 2013. It has been revised and the photographs updated for republication.
Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts chopped
- 4 oz. sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400° F / 200° C / gas mark 6.
- Combine the artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and grated Parmesan in a small bowl.
- Cut a pocket in each chicken breast without cutting all the way through the back. Use your finger to widen the pocket.
- Divide the cheese mixture equally between the chicken breasts, using a spoon to stuff them. Use toothpicks to seal the seams well, overlapping the edges if possible. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add oil and brown the chicken on both sides. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in the center reads 165°F / 74°C.
- Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes then remove toothpicks and serve.