Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pasta Stuffed Chicken

I am trying to get back into cooking and baking. Over the past several months, I have not had much time or desire and then when I would cook something, it would be a flop. I am not sure if it was due to lack of patience or if a person can just get rusty at what they are doing. I am hoping I am on a good path and starting to get my groove back! I found this recipe in a magazine. I ripped out the page and there is no identification anywhere on the front or back of the page to say what magazine it was. I guess it will not really matter because I adapted the recipe a little.

This is a little like Chicken Parmesan but instead of the chicken resting on a bed a spaghetti, the pasta is on the inside of the chicken. It was really good and I am sure I will make it again. It was not difficult to make.....remember I am going through a phase right now, and I was able to make it turn out!!!

Chicken Stuffed with Pasta

1/2 cup small shell pasta, like Ditalini
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 large eggs
2/3 cup italian breadcrumbs
4 boneless chicken breasts
3 cups marinara sauce ( I used Classico tomato basil sauce)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta according to their directions. While the pasta is cooking, combine the cheeses and half of the parsley in a bowl. Drain pasta and add the hot pasta to the cheeses; season with a little salt.

Prepare a 2 quart casserole dish with about 2 cups of marinara sauce spread in the dish. It will be about an inch thick in the dish. The chicken will bake on top of the sauce.

In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. In a separate bowl or plate, place the breadcrumbs. Pound out the chicken breasts until they are about 1 inch thick. Place a spoonful of the cheesy, pasta mixture in the middle and roll. I used toothpicks to hold the chicken together because we will browning in a skillet before placing in the oven to thoroughly cook.

Heat up a skillet with a little oil over a medium heat. Dip the stuffed chicken breasts in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs. Place in the skillet and brown all sides. You are just doing this to get the chicken brown, not to cook all the way through. Place the browned chicken in the marinara sauce and place any of the left over pasta in the middle between the chicken. Bake for 30 minutes or until the meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees. During the last 5 minutes of cooking add some mozzarella and parsley to the top of the chicken.

While the chicken is baking, heat up the rest of the marinara sauce to be served with the chicken for those who like extra sauce.