Tomato Basil “Chicken Sandwich”

I expanded my “stuffed chicken” repertoire last week with a different way to stuff chicken breasts. Typically, I cut a small slight in the chicken breast lengthwise, and use my fingers to stuff cheese and other goodies inside. This method works well for cheese, as it seals the stuffing inside. But what happens when you don’t want the gooey cheese and you want to stuff the chicken with something larger…more ingredients?

We opted for this healthy, carb-free version of a chicken sandwich. After butterflying the chicken breast, we stuffed it with fresh basil leaves and sliced hydroponic tomatoes.  The result was healthy, juicy, and down right delicious. To keep with my theme, I served the “sandwich” alongside roasted lemon-garlic asparagus.

 

 

Tomato-Basil Stuffed Chicken

Servings: 2 People

CHICKEN

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium tomato, thickly sliced
6 large, fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning (Ms. Dash’s brand is best)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
*2 wooden shish kabob sticks or several wooden toothpicks

ASPARAGUS

1/2 bunch asparagus stalks (~ 8 stalks), tough ends removed
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

CHICKEN:
Butterfly each chicken breast by placing the chicken on a flat surface (cutting board). Hold knife so the blade is parallel to the cutting board. Keeping the knife at this angle, slice the chicken breast in half  leaving approximately 1/2-1 inch still attached. This allows you to open and close the chicken breast like a book.

Mix Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small (tiny!) bowl. Season both inside and outside of chicken evenly with spice mixture. Open chicken breasts and layer each with tomato slices, onions, and basil leaves. Close chicken breasts and secure with wooden sticks/toothpicks (hint: I weaved the shish kabob sticks in and out of the open side, almost like I was sewing a seam. It held well throughout the cooking process). Spray large saute/grill pan with nonstick cooking spray, and place over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add chicken and cover. Cook ~7 minutes then flip and cook on other side. Chicken is ready when tough to the touch and no longer pink in the center. While cooking make the asparagus…..

ASPARAGUS:
Place asparagus in medium baking pan. Toss with remaining ingredients. Cook at 400 degrees (the oven should already be preheated by now), turning once. Remove from oven after 10 minutes, or when asparagus is tender but not charred. Serve with Chicken “Sandwiches” for a healthy, quick dinner!

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