Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pesto Chicken Breast with Wild Rice Mushroom Stuffing

Bored with the thought of another uninspired chicken meal, I scoured my pantry for inspiration. Seeing that I still had a small amount of
"gourmet" rice (heirloom red rice, wild rice, sweet brown rice).  I thought, why not combine the rice with portobello and button mushrooms; cook it with some some white wine to make a stuffing for a chicken breast that was on hand. The final touch was to smear some homemade pesto under the skin for extra flavour. Although the wrapped parcel might not have looked so pretty once prepped for cooking, the end result definitely rated a "wow" from my husband. A simple fennel and blood orange misto salad added vibrant colour to the meal. Now if I can only repeat this for a dinner party. Sometimes our best recipes are the ones made off the cuff.

1 large boneless chicken breast with skin
3 tablespoons basil pesto
2-3  tablespoons olive oil
1 cup mushrooms
1 shallot
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 cup cooked rice
3/4 cup white wine
3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves chopped
6 cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup cooked  rice( mix of gourmet rice...wild, brown and red)
1/2 cup chicken broth

In a sauce pan, heat the oil and saute the shallots for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme; continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes. Add the tomato pieces, parsley, and a heaping teaspoon of the basil pesto. Cook for a minute. Pour in 1/4 cup of  the white wine. Cook a minute or two before stirring in the cooked rice. Set aside to allow the mixture to cool. Spread the chicken breast on a work surface and flatten to a 1/4" thickness. With your fingers spread a tablespoon or two of pesto under the skin. Turn the chicken skin side down and spoon on the rice mushroom mixture. Spread on the surface of the meat and fold into a parcel. Taking some kitchen twine, wrap the meat to secure the stuffing. Transfer to an oven proof saucepan to which you have heated 2 tablespoons of oil. Brown the chicken, on all sides. Pour in 1/2 cup of wine, simmer for a minute. Add the chicken broth. Cover and continue cooking in a 350ºF  oven until fully cooked about 20-30 minutes, until fully cooked.


  1. Brilliant meal, love the idea of adding the pesto under the skin...beautiful! I am with your husband here with a WOW!

  2. This looks wonderful! I bet it tasted as amazing as it looks!

  3. I love when you are inspired - because then I can cook. The stuffing is a grand idea instead of a side - and will definitely be putting the pesto in the chicken for added bursts of flavor.

  4. Thanks Alisha. Placing fresh herbs or pesto under the skin, really adds flavour to the meat.

    Jo, thanks for the comment. The stuffing and pesto did add amazing flavour.

    Claudia, what a sweet thing to say, thanks. Can you believe I'm still using last summer's pesto? It freezes so well, retaining it's colour and flavour.

  5. Anna-Such a genius creation. I often add fresh herbs under the skin of the whole roasted chicken, under the breast part, but adding pesto just under the skin of the chicken breast is even more amazing, and stuffing it, is way over the top delicious!

  6. Wow ana, that looks really tempting. Made me really hungry for chicken right now! I really love stuffed chicken breast recipes and I'll give a try with this one, just using ordinary rice though :)