Joe was in D.C. recently and bought me the White House Cookbook. My husband knows how to pull at my heart strings. It’s filled with original recipes that were used in the White House alongside updated, healthier versions. I’ve been flipping through the pages for the last week thinking about what to make.
When my mom was visiting over the weekend, she picked up the latest addition to my cookbook collection and found a recipe she wanted me to copy for her. Cheese Stuffed Italian Chicken – not something I’d usually pick out of a book. But, after reading it through I was sold. Instead of being stuffed with a heavy cheese, it’s filled with a parmesan-cottage cheese mixture that gives it a little pizazz. It’s perfect for a healthier, weeknight meal.
My mom has a great eye for good recipes.
My Mom (left) and Me
We did a lot of cooking while she was here – lemon thyme chicken, chicken and black bean toastadas, and salmon with lentils. She and I ate tons of salad and fresh fruit – but we didn’t make this. I decided to give this recipe a go for Monday’s dinner. She asked me to share the variation so she can try my version at home.
Joe and I both loved the flavor combos, especially the homemade tomato sauce. If I were going to make this for company, I’d double or triple the cheese stuffing to make it a little fancier.
I butterflied the chicken breasts to help flatten them out. If you don’t know how, it’s very simple. I’ll teach you how in my tutorial.
This dish comes together with no effort at all. I know it’ll become a favorite at your house. It did at ours.
Shirley from Gluten-Free Easily is hosting this month’s Adopt A Gluten Free Blogger. I’m adopting Alta from Tasty Eats at Home – I always learn something from cooking my fellow bloggers’ recipes and this month will be no exception.
If you’re a gluten-free blogger then hop on over to Shirley’s site, read the details, and adopt someone you admire. Posts aren’t due until September 3rd so you have more than enough time.
Serves: 2 servings
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ medium onion, sliced thinly
- ½ cup celery, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons shredded carrots
- 1 clove garlic, grated on a microplane
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, divided
- pinch of cinnamon
- 8 – 10 drops liquid stevia
- 4 ounces tomato sauce
- ¾ cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
- ¼ cup cottage cheese
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
- a few grinds of black pepper
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup shredded mozzarella or oaxaca cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
- Heat olive oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until starting to soften. Add celery, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, ½ teaspoon oregano, cinnamon, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let the sauce reduce while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Once sauce has thickened, taste add 8 drops of stevia. Taste and add more if necessary. The sauce shouldn’t be sweet – instead, the stevia will just balance out the acid from the tomatoes.
- Mix cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, and black pepper. Set aside.
- Butterfly chicken breasts, then cover with plastic wrap and pound to ¼ inch thick with a meat mallet or a skillet. (I use my small, stainless steel saute pan.)
- Divide cheese evenly between the two chicken breasts, roll, and place in prepared baking dish seam side down. Top with tomato sauce. Cover and bake for 30 – 40 minutes, until baked through. Top with shredded cheese, return to oven uncovered until cheese has melted. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.