Hye Thyme Cafe: Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

Artichoke Stuffed Chicken : Hye Thyme Cafe

I had two chicken breasts in the fridge that needed to be cooked and haven't had artichokes in a while, so I decided to combine the two. I have made a different artichoke stuffed chicken before, but I seem to recall there being more involved with the filling. Since I was only stuffing two breasts, I didn't want to have a major surplus of filling. Besides, it's nice to have the artichoke stand more on its own sometimes by keeping it simple. I didn't even use garlic. I think that's a first for me!!  

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 T cream cheese, softened
14 oz can artichoke hears
1 t oregano
½ t crushed red pepper
½ c shredded mozzarella blend
Mayonnaise  (Hellmann's for me)
½ c seasoned bread crumbs
¼ c grated Parmesan

Since I hadn't planned ahead for this, I hadn't left any cream cheese out to soften, so I put the 1T in a bowl and threw it in the microwave on defrost for 10 seconds. It came out perfect that way. This small amount of cream cheese serves mostly to bind the ingredients for stuffing purposes.

Drain and dice the artichokes, then stir those, along with the oregano, crushed red pepper, and mozzarella blend into the cream cheese and set aside.

Using a fork, whisk together the bread crumbs and Parmesan and set aside.

Trim any random fat or other grossness from your chicken, pat dry with a paper towel and season on both sides with a little salt and pepper, bearing in mind that you will be using seasoned bread crumbs and Parmesan, which are both on the salty side.

Using a small paring or utility knife, and being careful not to go all the way through, slice a pocket into the chicken by running the knife lengthwise, starting at the thick end. I find that you have more control starting at the thick end. If you start at the tip, you might end up with your pocket running along the top or bottom of the chicken rather than in the center, which can affect how it cooks.

Stuff the pockets with the artichoke mixture. If you want, you can seal the chicken with toothpicks, but that's really not necessary.

Artichoke Stuffed Chicken : Hye Thyme Cafe

Artichoke Stuffed Chicken : Hye Thyme CafeLightly coat your chicken with the mayo, then with the crumb mix.

Place in a nonstick or lightly sprayed pan and bake at 350° for 35-40" or until golden on the outside and the juices run clear.

Artichoke Stuffed Chicken : Hye Thyme Cafe
Artichoke Stuffed Chicken : Hye Thyme Cafe

This is why I like to coat chicken with mayo or Dijon mustard before baking - it's like armor keeping in all those juices. No rubber chicken for me thanks. Check out how juicy and tender it is...

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