Ricotta and Basil Stuffed Chicken Breasts √

Serves 4.

Note: Ricotta provides the foundation for a simple stuffing flavored with basil and garlic. Fresh tomatoes, mixed with more basil, make a quick and easy sauce that can do double duty as a side salad. From Meredith Deeds.

• 1/2 c. ricotta

• 1/4 c. shredded mozzarella

2 tbsp. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

• 1 small garlic clove, minced

1/2 c. julienned fresh basil, divided

• 3/4 tsp. salt, divided

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 small skinless, boneless chicken breast halves


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To make the filling: In a bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic, ¼ cup basil, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.

In another small bowl, combine the tomatoes, remaining basil, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Put 1 chicken breast half on a cutting board and, beginning in middle of side of breast half, horizontally insert a sharp thin knife ¾ of the way through center, moving knife in a fanning motion to create a pocket. Form pocket in remaining breast halves in same manner. Divide filling between pockets and spread evenly with a finger.

Pat chicken dry and season with remaining salt and pepper.

In a large heavy ovenproof skillet heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown chicken, skin-side down, about 2 minutes. Turn chicken over and brown about 2 minutes more. Transfer skillet to middle of oven and bake chicken until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.

Slice each breast crosswise into 5 slices. Divide the tomato-basil mixture among 4 dinner plates. Arrange the slices on top of the tomatoes and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 370 Fat 20 g Sodium 670 mg Saturated fat 6 g

Carbohydrates 6 g Calcium 214 mg

Protein 40 g Cholesterol 105 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 5 lean meat, 1 fat.