This is hands down one of my favorite chicken recipes.
When I first started making it in college, I struggled determining when the chicken was done.
I would always serve raggedy-looking pieces of chicken at the table as a result of cutting through the breast a million times to see if it was cooked through.
But Santa was really good to me this year and gave me a Thermapen, and now I cannot live without it.
The Thermapen is super fast and super accurate, and will show you that a piece of meat is never the same temperature throughout while cooking.
I find it most useful for poultry, meat, and bread, but you could also use it for deep frying and candy.
This recipe is super easy to whip together, and also makes an elegant presentation at the table.
The cheesy stuffing is delicious, and the almonds add a wonderful nutty crunch.
I think this dish pairs well with steamed green beans with lemon, couscous, and/or mashed sweet potatoes.
My husband and our resident G.O.C. (guy-on-couch) gobbled it up, so I’d say it’s got the hungry-boy stamp of approval!
peaches and cake
Almond-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Adapted from Cooking Light, March 2009
- 1/3 cup light garlic-and-herbs spreadable cheese (such as Boursin Light)
- 4 Tbsp. + 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds
- 2 Tbsp. + 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
- 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons butter
- wooden picks or toothpicks
- instant-read thermometer
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Toast the 6 Tbsp. slivered almonds in a large nonstick oven-proof skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until light brown and fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Combine spreadable cheese, 4 Tbsp. almonds, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives, and a few grinds of fresh ground pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each breast half to form a pocket. Spread one-quarter of the almond mixture into each pocket; secure each pocket by weaving a wooden pick or toothpick lengthwise through the flaps. Sprinkle chicken lightly with salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Heat butter in the same nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan and sear for about 2 minutes on each side. Cover skillet with an oven-proof lid or foil. Place skillet in the oven and bake until internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer registers 160-162°F, about 12 minutes. Let stand for about 2 minutes.
- Top chicken with remaining 2 tablespoons almonds and remaining 1 tablespoon chives and serve, instructing guests to remove toothpick before cutting through.
*This dish pairs well with green beans, couscous, and/or mashed sweet potatoes.