April 29, 2008

Apricot and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Caramelized Onion Sauce

Apricot and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts(1)2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 pounds sweet onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon dried thyme, divided
4 boneless, skinless California Chicken Breasts, pounded ¼-inch thick
1/2 cup Real California Ricotta Cheese®
3 tablespoons grated Real California Parmesan Cheese®
1/3 cup dried apricots (about 2 ounces), chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
In large skillet over medium heat add 1 tablespoon each oil and butter. Stir in onions. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and ½ teaspoon each salt, pepper and thyme; stir. Cover and cook 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Onions are done when browned and jam-like consistency. Remove skillet from heat; reserve.

Meanwhile, season both sides of chicken with 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper. In small bowl, mix ricotta, Parmesan cheese and remaining thyme. Spread about one quarter of cheese mixture on each breast. Equally divide apricots on one half of the long side of the chicken breast. Fold in sides and roll up jelly-roll style; secure with string or toothpicks.

On a plate, mix flour and remaining salt and pepper. Dust each chicken roll with flour, removing excess. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat; add 1 tablespoon oil. Once oil is hot, brown chicken rolls on all sides, about 1 minute per side. Place skillet in oven, bake chicken about 20-25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. When done, remove skillet from oven and place chicken on platter; tent with foil to keep warm. Stir broth into caramelized onion; cook over high heat until thickened. Stir in remaining butter. Pour caramelized onion sauce over chicken. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

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