Apple Cheddar Stuffed Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium apple: (Granny Smith or Honeycrisp work well for a sweet and tart balance)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (or regular breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Optional for the sauce

  • 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Instructions

1. Prepare the chicken: Pound chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper to an even thickness (about 1/2 inch). Create a pocket by carefully cutting a horizontal slit along the thicker side of each breast.

2. Make the stuffing: Peel, core, and dice the apple into small pieces. In a bowl, combine the diced apple, cheddar cheese, breadcrumbs, thyme, sage, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

3. Stuff the chicken: Divide the apple-cheddar mixture evenly among the chicken breasts, stuffing each pocket. Secure the openings with toothpicks if needed.

4. Sear the chicken: Heat olive oil in a large skillet or oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Add the stuffed chicken breasts and sear for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.

5. Bake the chicken: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Transfer the skillet (if oven-safe) or the chicken breasts to a baking dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature reaches 165°F/74°C).

6. Make the optional sauce (while chicken is baking): In a small saucepan, combine the apple cider or juice, Dijon mustard, and honey. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly.

7. Serve: Remove the toothpicks from the chicken. Drizzle with the optional sauce and serve immediately with your favorite sides like roasted vegetables, rice, or mashed potatoes.

Tips

Experiment with cheese: Try other melty cheeses like Gouda or Gruyere.

Add a touch of sweetness: Sprinkle a pinch of brown sugar into the stuffing for a hint of caramelization.

No toothpicks? Instead of toothpicks, try wrapping each stuffed breast with a slice of bacon to secure.

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