Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cheese-Stuffed Mexican Chicken

This had a lot of good flavors, and wasn't soggy (like I thought it would be).  The cornmeal forms a delicious, crunchy crust.

And all of the liquid from the tomatoes reduces by the time cooking is over so you are left with a perfectly thick tomato base for dipping.
And do you see the cheese oozing out?  YUM! 

We served ours with steamed veggies and Parmesan Polenta.  Creamed Cornbread would be another great option.

Cheese-Stuffed Mexican Chicken
Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping
6 oz. Pepperjack cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c. flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/4 c. milk
3/4 c. yellow cornmeal
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1/2 c. hot or mild salsa

Cut half of the cheese into 4 slices; shred the remaining half.
Make a horizontal cut in meatier part of each chicken breast to make a deep pocket.
Place 1 slice of cheese in each pocket, folding or breaking apart if necessary.

Assemble 3 dishes on the counter.
Place the flour in one dish, the egg and milk in another, and the cornmeal in the last.
Salt and pepper each chicken breast.
Dip each breast in flour mixture, turning to coat.
Then dip each into the egg mixture, covering completely.
Finish by dipping into cornmeal mixture, coating evenly - shake off excess and set aside.

In large non-stick skillet heat oil over medium-high until very hot.
Add chicken and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes.
Move chicken to outside edges of skillet and pour tomatoes and salsa in the center; stir to combine.
Replace chicken breasts over tomato mixture.
Heat to boiling over high heat, then reduce to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
**I was using really big chicken breasts so I actually put the lid on to help it cook faster - it took me 15 minutes with the lid on**

Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and place under broiler until melted and browned.
**If you used a lid, you will need to place the skillet under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the cornmeal mixture before adding cheese.  Once crisp, add cheese and put back under broiler.**

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