Friday, December 05, 2008

Chicken Stuffed with Golden Onions and Fontina


A semi-firm cheese that's nonetheless quite creamy, fontina melts into pure heaven. Combined with caramelized onions, fontina becomes a nutty, gooey, irresistible filling for chicken breasts.

One reviewer commented: Recipe turned out very well. The gravy was delicious and the chicken was very moist. Make sure you don't combine the onion and the cheese until the onions have chilled, otherwise the cheese may melt too soon, making stuffing impossible.

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, divided (I will use 1 tablespoon next time --PKS)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2/3 cup shredded fontina cheese, preferably aged (about 3 1/3 ounces)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), trimmed of fat (I used 2 8-ounce breasts--PKS)
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon rosemary; cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool; stir in fontina (I used Italian fontina for it superior taste and melting quality).

Meanwhile, cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of each chicken breast half, nearly through to the opposite side. Stuff each breast with 1/4 cup of the onion-cheese mixture.

Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden, about 5 minutes per side (my opinion is that 5 minutes might be too long; you don't have to cook the chicken all the way though because it continues to cook as it rests on a platter and when it get transfered back to the pan). Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add wine and the remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Whisk broth and flour in a bowl until smooth; add to the pan, reduce heat to low and whisk until the sauce thickens, about 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan and coat with the sauce. Cook, covered, until the chicken is just cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve the chicken topped with the sauce.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, arguably the most versatile cut of chicken, are very low in fat, only 1 to 2 grams of fat per serving. Conveniently, one 4- to 5-ounce breast, tender removed, yields a perfect 3-ounce cooked portion. When preparing, trim any excess fat from the outer edge of the breast. Chicken tenders, virtually fat-free, are a strip of rib meat typically found attached to the underside of the chicken breast, but they can also be purchased separately. Four 1-ounce tenders will yield a 3-ounce cooked portion. Tenders are perfect for quick stir-fries, chicken satay or kid-friendly breaded "chicken fingers."

Serves 2 to 4.

Nutritional Analysis Per serving: Calories 258, Carbohydrates 7 g,Protein 33 g, Fat12 g, Saturated Fat5 g, Cholesterol 88 g, Monounsaturated Fat 6 g, Dietary Fiber 1 g, Sodium 328 mg, Potassium 388 mg .

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