I cannot stress enough what a great time it is cooking with the ones you love. My husband and I really enjoy days when we can grill together. We work well together and in the end we can sit and enjoy a homecooked meal together. This recipe is number two in a series of three. My challenge was a package of 6 chicken breast and I wanted to prepare them three different ways. The first recipe was simply chicken breast pounded thin and seasoned with a dry rub. Great for tacos and salads. Today’s recipe is two large boneless chicken breast stuffed with zucchini, smoky bacon anf fontina cheese. I forget how much I really enjoy fontina cheese. Reminds me of the Mexican Chihuahua cheese, a great melting cheese. The chicken portions were so big, that we enjoyed this recipe for several days. Made for some great quesadillas!
Zucchini, Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast-Pechugas de Pollo Rellenas
2 large boneless chicken breast, butterflied, about 2 pounds
salt to taste
4 thinly sliced pieces of zucchini
2 to 3 tablespoons cooked bacon
1/2 cup monterrey jack or fontina cheese
Crushed red pepper flakes or jalapeño flakes (I used jalapeño)
Olive oil and 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
Tips~ Try adding some roasted or pickled jalapeño slices instead of the dried flakes.
On this day, I used my charcoal grill to cook the stuffed chicken breast, but you could certainly cook it on your stove and finish it in the oven.
1. After you butterfly the chicken breast open, cover it with plastic and pound it out slighlty so it’s more even. This way it will cook more evenly. To each piece of chicken, season the inside lightly with salt and lemon pepper. You want to cut the zucchini to size, so it fits inside of the chicken breast. Add 2 thin slices of zucchini, bacon, cheese and red pepper flakes. Fold top over and secure with toothpicks. Season the outside with more salt and lemon pepper, drizzle with olive oil and set aside.
2. Prepare your outdoor grill for indirect cooking. Meaning you will have one hot side and one cool side. The temperature on the grill should be between 350 to 375 degrees. When ready to grill, brush clean grates with oil. Place stuffed chicken on hot side of grill for 5 minutes per side. Move over to the cool or indirect side of the grill and close the lid. During the cooking time, if the chicken looks like it’s dry, brush it with a little oil or butter. Close lid and continue cooking for 25 to 35 minutes or until the internal temperature of chicken reads 165 degrees F. Remove from heat onto plate, add 1/2 a tablespoon of butter to the top of each chicken breast, tent with foil paper and let rest for 5 to 7 minutes. Yields 2 to 4 servings
Variation~ To cook this on the stove, you would prep the chicken the same way. Preheat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for 5 minutes in an oven safe skillet. Sear the chicken for 5 minutes per side. Cover and place in preheated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165 degrees F. Remove from hot pan and let rest before serving. To serve for four, I like to slice all the chicken and serve it over rice or quinoa.
My new favorite thing to grill are pre-cooked potato wedges. Wash a large russet potato and cook in the microwave, on high, for about 6 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool then slice into wedges. Season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Place on hot grill just to brown and crisp a little. And of course, you have to throw on some sweet and hot peppers while you are at it!