Artichoke and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breast w/Asparagus Risotto

Boy, is it hard to get things accomplished with two little ones! I'm finally posting the chicken recipe I blogged about a week ago. I find the stuffing keeps the chicken very moist and bursting with flavor! A trick I like to use when pounding the chicken is to lay the breasts between two sheets of parchment paper and beat them with a heavy cast-iron skillet. Be sure not too beat too thin, it can tear holes in the breasts. Enjoy!

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 cup chopped red onion

3/4 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts

1/2 cup chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1/2 cup white wine, divided

3 tablespoons butter, divided

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley leaves

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the oil is hot add the onions and saute until translucent. Stir in the artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes, then add the salt, pepper and garlic. When the garlic begins to lightly brown, deglaze with 1/4 cup of the white wine. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the butter, allow it to melt, then toss in the Parmesan and parsley.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool before stuffing the chicken breast.

Rinse, trim and pound out chicken breasts to about 1/4-inch thick. Do not over-pound as holes in the chicken will make it difficult for the chicken to retain the stuffing.

Put 1/4 of the stuffing mixture at 1 end of a chicken breast. Gentle roll the chicken breast folding the ends in to help keep the stuffing from coming out during the cooking process. Secure the chicken roll with 2 toothpicks. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts and stuffing.

Heat the 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a medium saute pan over high heat. Add the chicken breasts, with the secured side of the chicken first, to insure the roll with stay together. Brown the chicken on all sides, add remaining butter, and deglaze with remaining white wine.

Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a cutting board and discard the toothpicks. Slice each breast on a bias into 5 pieces and transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with remaining pan drippings, garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan and serve.

Asparagus Risotto

1 pound asparagus

3 tablespoon plus
1 teaspoon butter

1/2 cup chopped shallots

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

About 3 1/2 cups chicken stock

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Wash and break off last 1 1/2 in of the asparagus spears. Cut into 1-1 1/2 inch pieces (tips longer, base shorter). If your asparagus is especially large, cut into smaller pieces. Bring a saucepan with a quart of water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus pieces for 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the asparagus to an ice bath to shock the asparagus into a vibrant green color and to stop cooking. Drain the ice water and set aside.

In a 3 or 4 quart saucepan, heat 3 tablespoon butter on med heat. Add the shallots and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring until nicely coated. 

While the shallots and rice are cooking, bring the stock to a simmer in a separate saucepan. 

Add the wine to the shallot and rice mixture. Slowly stir, allowing the rice to absorb the wine. Once the wine is almost completely absorbed, add 1/2 cup of stock to the rice. Continue to stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed, adding more stock in 1/2 cup increments. Stir often to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little broth at a time, until the rice is tender but still slightly firm to the bite, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Gently stir in the parmesan cheese, the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, and the asparagus. 

Add salt and pepper and serve immediately.


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