Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cheesy Pesto Stuffed Chicken


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Recently, I was honored to be asked to guest blog on my friend Katie's blog over at KTJWeighingin.  I met Katie through blogging and she is one of those types of people that you just want to be friends with.  She's encouraging and an inspiration to all of her followers including, yours truly.  I feel very lucky to have met her and she's been so helpful to me on this blogging adventure!  Pop on over to her blog and check her out.

Here's my guest post:

I’m super excited to bring you a fun, healthy, delicious recipe!  When I asked dear Katie if there was something special she’d like me to make, she told me that she loved chicken so that’s what I have for you.

Of course, there are a million ways to prepare chicken and it seems I’m always on the lookout for any and every way to make it.  This is probably one of my favorite recipes and I hope you like it, too.
Before we begin, I must first stipulate that I am a germophobe…seems irrelevant, but I'll get to the point...does anyone else hate to touch raw chicken as much as I do??   SOoo, with that in mind, please know the lengths I had to go through to bring this recipe to you.  I KID…no, seriously.
Second, and way more importantly - this chicken is gooood.  I mean CRAZY Good…you feel me?  Totally worth touching.
Now, let’s get to it!
Ingredients:
4 – thinly-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts (if you can’t find thinly-sliced, you’ll have to cut the regular breasts in half lengthwise…which meeeaaans, you‘ll have to touch them...be brave...if I can do it, you can do it.)
¼ cup light Pesto, divided – I used Eating Well’s Basil Pesto (this Pesto is amazing, and so many less calories than the typical jarred pesto – 166 calories in a ¼ cup vs. upwards of 270 calories for something like Buitoni Pesto; even their "light" version is still 230 calories)
1oz - 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1T – fresh chopped basil
¼ cup - seasoned bread crumbs
1T – grated Parmesan cheese
Nonstick spray
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375.
Spread 2T of the Pesto onto the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish.  Doesn’t have to be fancy, just enough so that the chicken can sit on top of some of that delicious garlicky basil goodness.

In a small bowl, mix the last 2T of Pesto with the cream cheese and chopped basil.
In another small bowl or a pie plate, mix the bread crumbs with the Parmesan cheese.
Okay, so you ARE going to have to touch the chicken because you have to pound them out to be even thinner than they are, even if you are using thinly sliced chicken.  I placed one breast into some plastic wrap and pounded them out pretty thinly with my rolling pin.

Onto each breast, spread some of the cheesy pesto mixture thinly onto one side like so:

Now, roll the little breastesses up and then, roll them in the bread crumb/Parmesan mixture.  The breading will stick nicely to the breasts.  Then, place them into the baking dish seam-side down.  Yup that's me touching the raw chicken!  So brave I am, right??

Spray the tops of the chicken with a little bit of nonstick spray to help with browning.
Bake the chicken for approximately 25 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center reads 170 degrees.  Remove from oven and serve!
I served these with steamed broccoli but sautéed green beans would pair deliciously!
I even scooped some of the yummy pesto from the bottom of the baking dish and put it on top...mmmm.

Nutrition:
Serves 4
Calories 229 / Carbs 5g / Fat 10g / Protein 29g / Fiber 1g / Sodium 322mg
WW Points Plus: 6 ww+ points!

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