As a little last hurrah before I got my wisdom teeth out yesterday, I decided to cook dinner for my family the night prior to my surgery—something that I wouldn’t be able to eat for a while. To be honest, I made sure to feast the entire day and indulged in a turkey and avocado sandwich on a freshly baked French roll from my favorite deli by my house.
For dinner, I flipped through one of my mom’s three massive recipe binders and found a chicken dish that I had never made before. I decided on tender chicken breasts stuffed with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and Fontina cheese drizzled with a creamy white wine and Fontina cheese sauce. It was the perfect hearty meal, which was even better served alongside a glass of my favorite pinot noir, La Crema.
As expected, I wasn’t able to eat such a gourmet meal yesterday. My food for the day consisted of some Ramen noodle broth and vanilla frozen yogurt from Golden Spoon. Since my mouth is in pain and it’s difficult to open my jaw, I really don’t have much of an appetite—that’s definitely a rare statement for me to make!
1 12-oz. jar marinated artichokes, drained, coarsely chopped
1 cup grated Fontina cheese
1/2 cup (packed) drained, coarsely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp. dried basil
4 5-oz. skinless boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp. olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix artichokes, cheese, tomatoes and basil in a medium bowl. Using small knife and working with one chicken breast at a time, cut 2-inch-long slit horizontally into one side of chicken breast (thicker side). Move knife back and forth in slit to form pocket. Divide cheese mixture among chicken pockets (reserve remainder to top the chicken). Press edges to seal. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in skillet over high heat. Add chicken; cook about 2 minutes on both sides, until golden brown. Transfer chicken breasts to ovenproof pan. Pour cheese sauce (recipe below) on top of chicken breasts. Bake until cooked through and when sauce starts to bubble, about 10 minutes.
Cheese sauce recipe:
4 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cup half and half
1 cup white wine
1 cup shredded Fontina cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Melt butter then add four to create a roux. Add half and half and wine. Get sauce to desired consistency (want sauce to be somewhat thin since it’s being poured over the chicken—wine helps thin the sauce). Add Fontina cheese and stir until melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Plate chicken and pour cheese sauce on top. Sprinkle desired amount of artichoke, sun-dried tomato and Fontina cheese mixture on top.
* Recipe found on epicurious.com