Cream cheese and pesto make a delectable filling for lean chicken breasts. Use this technique to experiment with other fillings as well, such as ham and cheese or goat cheese and chopped olives.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (1-1 1/4 pounds total)
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cream cheese, Neufchatel
- 1 tablespoon basil pesto, store-bought or homemade
- 2 tablespoons creamy goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon black olives, chopped
- 1/4 cup Swiss, Monterey Jack or part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons ham, chopped
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Step 1
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Step 2
- Combine cream cheese, pesto and pepper in a small bowl with a fork.
- Step 3
- Cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of a chicken breast half, nearly through to the opposite side. Open up each breast and place one-fourth of the filling in the center. Close the breast over the filling, pressing the edges firmly together to seal. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts and filling.
- Step 4
- Lightly beat egg white with a fork in a medium bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow glass dish. Hold each chicken breast half together and dip in the egg white, then dredge in the breadcrumbs. (Discard leftovers.)
- Step 5
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts; cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Place the chicken, browned-side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center or until an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F, about 20 minutes.
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