Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Cheese, Tomato, and Basil
Cooked on the bone, the delicate white meat of chicken breasts stays moist.
- 4 bone-in chicken breast halves (14 ounces each)
- 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, about 8
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 ounces Fontina or mozzarella cheese, cut into four pieces
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside. With a paring knife, cut a 1-inch-long slit in thick side of each breast. Insert knife, and without enlarging opening, carefully work around inside to form a pocket (make sure you do not go through the other side).
On a cutting board, pile basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, zest, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; finely chop. Divide mixture evenly, and spoon into breast pockets, spreading it around. Insert one piece of cheese in each breast pocket.
Close pockets, using 2 to 3 toothpicks per breast; arrange, skin side up, on baking sheet. Rub with olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast until well browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast (avoiding bone) reads 165 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes. Let chicken rest 5 minutes; remove toothpicks before serving.