I chose this recipe because I had all of the ingredients (except basil...thanks Kathryn!). The "melted strawberries" might sound odd to some, and honestly, it is a bit different, but we liked it. Think of cranberry sauce with turkey. It's kind of different, right? You do not have to mix your strawberries with the chicken if you don't want to, but it is prettier that way.
Parmesan-Stuffed Chicken and Melted Strawberries
3 C. fresh strawberries (halve of quarter if they are larger)
2 TBSP. white balsamic or white wine vinegar
1/4 C. strawberry jam
sea salt or salt and black pepper
6 Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 3 lb.)
3 oz. parmesan or white cheddar cheese (I actually used cotija)
6 large fresh basil leaves
1 TBSP. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Snipped fresh basil, to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a baking dish (3 qt. size), mix together halved strawberries, vinegar, and jam. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, set aside.
2. Cut each chicken breast horizontally almost to the edge (do not cut all the way through). Cut the cheese (hehe) into six 3x1/2-inch chunks. Wrap each piece of cheese with the basil, then put it in the chicken pocket. Close chicken and secure with toothpicks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. In a 12-inch oven-safe skillet, cook the garlic in olive oil over medium heat for 30 seconds (or until you get the garlic aroma). Add the chicken pieces and cook for about 5 minutes, or until turns golden brown (cook both sides). Transfer chicken to the oven, and bake, uncovered for 5 more minutes. Add the baking dish with the strawberry mixture (do NOT combine, keep chicken and strawberries separate) to the oven, and Bake for another 10-13 minutes, until chicken is cooked all the way through and is no longer pink. Berries should be soft and jam slightly thickened.
Serve chicken with melted strawberries. Sprinkle with basil. Makes 6 servings.
1. I don't have an oven-safe skillet. I cooked the chicken in my skillet as directed, then transferred to a baking dish for oven cooking.
2. We really liked this and would love to experiment with other cheeses....mmm.