Sunday, January 2, 2011

Parmesan Garlic Herb Chicken – My First REAL Recipe

A couple of weeks back I had a few things in my pantry and fridge that I wanted to use up and I couldn’t think of a recipe that would work (and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time searching for a recipe). So, I decided to create my own recipe.

I think I’ve mentioned before about one night a week my fiancé comes over to my place for dinner; I thought it would be a great experiment…worst case, it would be a disaster and we order pizza. But that didn’t happen…

The experiment was a SUCCESS!

We definitely did not have to order pizza. I was very careful not to say anything about dinner or give any indication that I had just made up my own recipe because I wanted to get an honest response from my fiancé. Sure enough, a couple of bites into dinner, the following exchange occurred.

Him: “This is pretty good.”
Me: “REALLY?” (Perhaps with an overly excited expression on my face.)
Him: “Yes, why? What did you do? Did you change a recipe?”
Me: “No, I MADE IT UP!”

He liked it! YAY!

It’s a pretty simple recipe and fairly healthy (even healthier if you leave out the cheese, but the cheese surprise when you cut it open is pretty tasty).

Parmesan Garlic Herb Chicken
(Original Recipe by Michelle)

4-5 (depending on size) boneless skinless chicken breasts (thawed)
~ 1/3 cup white cooking wine*
~ ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
pinch of salt
6 garlic cloves
1-2 tablespoons reduced fat cream cheese
1/3 cup shredded parmesan

Heat oven to 375 F.

Whisk together the white wine and extra virgin olive oil in a large bowl with a lid (or in a small bowl if using a plastic bag to marinate chicken). Then whisk in the seasonings and add 2 garlic cloves. Add the chicken and place in fridge to marinate for at least one hour or as long as you like.

Chicken Marinating

Mix cream cheese and parmesan in a small bowl.

(I had one of these mini cream cheese tubs left so that is what I used for the cream cheese)
Combined cheese mixture

Remove chicken from marinade and place on plate or cutting board. With a knife, cut a slit in the side of the chicken (it’s usually best to start at the thickest part of the breast). You can make the slide just the size of the knife for just a little bit of filling or as big as you want to get more filling in the chicken.

I used my fingers to stuff the cheese mixture into the slits in the chicken. Make sure you stuff it as far back as possible and don’t fill the slit with cheese all the way to the end of the chicken or it will all just ooze out while the chicken bakes. Press together the end of the slit to try and avoid any oozing.

Place chicken in a baking dish and pour the marinade over the top. Add four more cloves of garlic (make sure they are scattered throughout the baking dish and not all in one place). Place a sprig of fresh rosemary on top of each chicken breast.


Bake for 35-45 minutes or until done.

Post Oven
Serve. I paired it with some garlic and spinach pasta in a marinara sauce, but it would also be great with veggies or rice.

*I know most people say not to use cooking wine and that you should never use a wine to cook with that you wouldn’t drink; well I don’t drink wine so I probably couldn’t tell a difference and it’s often easier to buy cooking wine at the grocery store than to make an extra trip to the liquor store and then be stuck with the rest of the bottle of wine. Also, if you don’t like to use wine in your cooking I’m guessing you could easily substitute it with chicken broth or more extra virgin olive oil; but I haven’t tried that out specifically. If you do try a substitution for the wine, let me know how it goes.

This is my first time writing a real recipe, I’ve tried to read through it to make sure it makes sense, but if you have any questions please let me know and I’ll try to clarify the directions as needed.

Give it a try and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback!


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