October 20, 2010

Pear, blue cheese, and arugula stuffed chicken

It's week 5 of Fall Fest now and this week celebrates pears. It just so happened that we picked some up at the farmer's market over the weekend. I decided to use pears in a savory dish and this is what I came up with. I love the combination of flavors in this chicken. I used organic, free-range chicken, so the breasts weren't as huge as the ones you often see and this does make butterflying and stuffing the chicken a little more difficult. But, they still turned out good and work just fine. I made this recipe for just my husband and I, so the below quantities are for two servings. You can easily make more stuffing to fill up more chicken breasts though.  

Pear, blue cheese, and arugula stuffed chicken
2 chicken breasts
1 small pear, peeled, cored, and diced
1/4 cup crumbly blue cheese
2 cups of baby arugula
1 tablespoon pine nuts, lightly toasted
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
olive oil for cooking
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey

Butterfly the chicken breasts and then pound them out so that they are thin and even in thickness (or as close as possible). Place a few arugula leaves across the meat. In a small bowl, combine the pear, blue cheese, and pine nuts along with some salt and pepper. Place half of the mixture in each chicken breast. Roll up the chicken and secure with butcher's twine or toothpicks. Salt and pepper the outside of the chicken.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat olive oil in an oven-safe skillet. When hot, add the chicken, seam side down. Brown on all sides and then place the skillet in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (it will depend on the size and thickness of your chicken breasts). Set the chicken aside to rest.

In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar and honey. Place a bed of arugula on each place. Slice the chicken in half and place on top of the arugula. Top with the vinegar and honey mixture.

Looking for more pear recipes? How about puffed pear pancake with cinnamon-maple syrup, pear-ginger crisp, or ham, pear, caramelized onion, and brie sandwich?

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