Spacer Vegetable-Filled Chicken Breasts
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Made this for a visiting friend a while ago, as something kind of different and "special." We didn't have any kitchen twine, so I just stacked everything carefully and rather than putting them back in the pan after cutting I just poured sauce over the pieces. We had way more veggies than would fit between the chicken pieces, so I piled them around the chicken in the pan. Turned out very well, I think. We had a relatively cheap Turning Leaf chardonnay, drank too much of it, and stayed up too late talking about old times.

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 leek, white part plus 1 inch of green, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
I medium turnip, peeled and diced
1 medium zucchini or summer squash, chopped
1/2 c dry white wine, divided
2 c shredded radicchio
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 c chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 c half and half or reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 c diced fontina cheese
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the leek, carrots, celery, turnip, and squash. Turn the heat down to medium-low and sauté until the vegetables have softened, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add half the wine; turn the heat up to medium and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the wine has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the radicchio and continue stirring until it wilts, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
  4. Pound each chicken breast very thin (about 1/4 inch). Spread 2 halves with half of the filling, or as much as will fit. Top with the other chicken breasts. Tie well with kitchen twine.
  5. Pour the broth into the skillet with the remaining wine. Bring to a simmer. Add the chicken; cover and cook until cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Cut off the twine and cut each stuffed breast into 4 pieces. Place on a platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
  7. Bring the broth in the skillet to a boil and cook to reduce by about 1/3, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir in the half-and-half and fontina. Stir constantly to melt the cheese. Return the chicken to the pan to coat with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Shaw, Diana. Almost Vegetarian Entertaining. (New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 1998), 162.

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