Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fresh Basil Stuffed Chicken Breasts (in a Mushroom Sauce)

Finally got around to purchasing a fresh basil plant yesterday and after I was done potting it I decided that I must make something with my newly acquired herb.

the chopped up basil
As luck would have it chicken breasts were on sale at Publix's (something that almost never happens) so I thought I would make stuffed chicken breasts; a dish that looks fancy but is actually quite easy to put together. These chicken breasts were phenomenal - fresh basil absolutely rocks! I put a lot in because I like the flavor of basil but if you want you could put less in for a more subtle effect.

A note on cooking chicken: When making chicken breasts I never cook them as long as the government recommends (till they are 170) because if you do your chicken will be tough, dry, and nasty. Once the chicken looks done (i.e. no pinkness when cut into) and the juices coming from it are clear it is done and I have never gotten sick from eating it that way.


Fresh Basil, Cream Cheese, and Garlic Stuffed Chicken Breasts
3 Chicken Breasts
3 oz. Cream Cheese
Small hand full of Fresh Basil (about 3 tablespoons chopped)
2 teaspoons minced Garlic
1/4 cup fresh Spinach chopped
Salt and freshly ground Pepper to taste
In a small bowl mix together the cream cheese, basil, garlic, and spinach with a dash of salt and set aside.

Cream cheese filling
Cut a deep slit in the chicken breasts (big enough to stuff the cream cheese mixture into) but don't cut all the way down from one side to the other or all of the filling will ooze out.

Exhibit A: slit in chicken breast

Exhibit B: slit chicken breast

Chicken breast laying flat after being slit
Then fill the chicken breasts with the cream cheese mixture and place in a large buttered skillet over medium heat and brown on both sides. After both sides are browned turn heat down to medium-low and cook covered for about 20 minutes, flipping once.

Chicken cooking
Take lid off of skillet and continue cooking for about another 10-20 minutes (until chicken juices run clear or a meat thermometer registers around 155).

Note: If the chicken starts to dry out while cooking uncovers just replace the lid so that everything steams up again. Also, it is normal and in my experience unavoidable for some of the filling to leak out of the chicken; it's not really a problem and just ends up making a natural "sauce" for the chicken. Let the chicken rest (covered) for about 10 minutes before serving.

Done Chicken
While chicken is in its final stages of cooking you can prepare the sauce that goes over it:

Mushroom Onion Sauce
1 6 oz. container Sliced Portabella Mushrooms coarsely sliced
1/2 of an Onion diced
1 tablespoon Flour
Approximately 1 1/2 cups Chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground Pepper to taste
Olive Oil
In a large oiled skillet over medium heat saute mushrooms and onions for about 7 minutes or until onions are translucent and mushrooms are starting to brown.

Then turn heat down to medium-low and sprinkle flour, salt, and pepper over the pan and mix in with the mushrooms and onions. Slowly pour in the chicken broth until you had enough for a sauce (this is up to you - depends on how much sauce you want) and cook until thickened; about 3-4 minutes.

After broth is added


  1. The slits in your chicken breasts look so much tidier than when I make stuffed chicken breasts. Don't you love the results though? Your combination of ingredients definitely looks apertizing!

  2. Yes, stuffed chicken breasts are the best (especially when they have cream cheese in them). They were really tasty - definitely try adding the basil in sometime it really punches up the flavor.

  3. This basil stuffed chicken looks absolutely delicious! Just picked up a basil plant yesterday, and this will be one of the dishes I use it for :)

  4. The stuffed chicken in creamy mushroom sauce looks simply mouthwatering!

  5. Thanks lisamichele and Angie for dropping by!

    @lisamichele: I hope the chicken turned out well for you.