Cheesy Basil Stuffed Chicken with Tomatoes
CHEESY BASIL STUFFED CHICKEN WITH TOMATOES
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil, divided
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced and divided
Salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the shredded cheese, 2 tablespoons of the minced basil, cream, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cut a pocket in chicken breasts (don't cut all the way through) and stuff with cheese mixture. Use a toothpick to help close the slit, if necessary. Transfer the stuffed breasts to 19x13 inch baking dish and spread tops evenly with mayonnaise.
In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs, remaining garlic, remaining fresh basil, and one tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle crumb mixture over chicken, pressing lightly to adhere. Toss tomatoes with remaining tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Arrange the tomatoes in the baking dish in and around the chicken. Bake until the crumbs are golden brown and the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.
There's nothing I love more than a fancy looking dish that's easy to make and incredibly delicious. And these cheesy stuffed chicken breasts are just that. The chicken is fabulous, but the tomatoes are my favorite part! Which was just fine with all of my kids, who gladly shared theirs with me. You can also use fresh basil in this recipe (you'll need about 1/4 cup), but I don't care for the look of fresh basil when it's been cooked--although it does taste delicious. As a compromise, I sometimes sprinkle some freshly chopped basil over the dish just before serving. This is a dish I'll make again and again.