Hey there gang, it’s Joe Stapleton here again with another post and recipe! I came across this one while digging through some old cookbooks, and after trying it just have to share it with you all! I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to make un-breaded chicken breasts more appetizing without going overboard on the calories, and this one certainly fit the bill. It’s essentially a lower carbohydrate version of chicken Kiev, with a prosciutto wrap replacing the breading. Even with the prosciutto wrap it still ends up being about half the calories, carbs, and fat of chicken Kiev, with more protein!. The real fun is on the inside though, where it just screams New England! It’s stuffed with a blend of shallot, cheddar cheese, and green apple, yum!
What little carbs are in this entrée come from the Granny Smith apple, so they’re the kind of carbs we like over here at Practical Nutrition. You know, the ones that come from fruits or vegetables, can be organically and locally sourced, and that come with a myriad of health benefits along for the ride! Believe it or not, that old adage popularized by Benjamin Franklin ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ isn’t all that far from the truth! Apples are high in fiber, which can increase your satiety, keeping you full longer. They are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, both of which are powerful antioxidants that can lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Green apples have two extra benefits over their more commonly consumed red cousins: the first being their potassium content. Granny Smith apples have even more potassium than other apples, which can further reduce risk of heart disease and help to stabilize your heart rhythm! Lastly, while both red and green apples can help your teeth if you can’t brush after a meal, green apples are even better at this job! Both varieties stimulate saliva production from chewing their tough, fibrous skins, but the tart flavor of a green apple stimulates this even more, and saliva is our first line of defense against cavity causing bacteria in our mouths! Just remember to have a glass of water after an apple to wash away the sugar and acid leftover from your delicious treat!
Let’s get back to the real reason you’re reading though, the recipe! When we prepared this dish last weekend we made it with gratin dauphinoise (French scalloped potatoes) and grilled asparagus, paired with a nice Italian trebbiano and some hopeful wishes of melting snow and warmer weather. (Given the fact that it’s been beautiful all week and some actual honest-to-goodness grass is peeking out of the snow, it looks like someone out there answered our prayers, so you’re welcome!)
Oh, and for anyone using PN Rx for their macronutrient counts, one full stuffed chicken breast equals roughly 2 proteins, 2.5 fats, and only 0.5 carbohydrates. The full nutritional breakdown is in the recipe. Enjoy!
- 4 thick skinless boneless organic chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp. virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots or 1 small onion
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp. dried sage
- 1 granny smith apple, cored and diced
- 1 cup shredded Vermont sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 6 slices of prosciutto
- sea salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly oil a small roasting pan.
- Put a chicken breast on a cutting board, rounded side up. Use a small, sharp knife to cut a pocket along the length of the chicken breast, cutting as deep as you can without cutting through to the other side of the ends. Repeat with the remaining breasts, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator.
- To make the stuffing, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, celery, and sage and sauté, stirring, for 3-5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the apple and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft but not falling apart. Stir in the cheese and parsley and season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the stuffing among the chicken pockets. Wrap one and a half slices of prosciutto around each breast. Then rub the tops with the remaining oil and sprinkle with pepper.
- Transfer the chicken to the prepared pan and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices are piping hot with steam rising and run clean with no sign of pink when the tip of a sharp knife is inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
- Cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 3-5 minutes.