Almost every weekend when I sit down to meal plan I ask Marc if he has any requests. Over the years he has learned that any answer is better than no answer at all, so his go-to response is “chicken.” Some weeks I harass him more than others, asking “aren’t you craving anything!?” and “c’mon…what sounds good?!” but other weeks I just smile and appreciate the fact that he isn’t a picky eater with outrageous requests. He eats whatever I make him, and I love him for that.
So tonight when we sat down for dinner Marc commented “you made chicken and I didn’t even ask for it!” Huh. So maybe all along the poor guy really did want chicken. Not only was he pleasantly surprised that I made chicken, he boldly stated that this was the best chicken he’s ever had. I challenged his statement, not sure if he was over-exaggerating, but he stuck by it saying he loved the crunchy breadcrumb coating, and that the flavors of the filling.
I have to agree, this is one of my favorite chicken dishes I’ve ever made. The pesto and artichokes pair really well together, and combined with the cream cheese it made for the perfect filling. I too loved the breadcrumb coating, and am glad I took the extra 3 minutes to coat the chicken. It did make for a couple of extra dirty dishes, but definitely worth it.
I made this on a weeknight and while it’s not a super quick weeknight meal, taking about 40 minutes from start to finish, it is definitely do-able. To make things even easier, you could make the cream cheese filling ahead of time and skip the browning part (though I did love the crispy browned breading) and add another 5 minutes to the baking time. Paired with some roasted veggies, we absolutely loved this meal.
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Cilantro Pesto Grilled Chicken
pesto and artichoke cream cheese stuffed chickenPrint Rate
- 4 chicken breasts
- 4 tbsp cream cheese softened
- 2 tbsp pesto
- 1/4 cup chopped artichokes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In bowl, mix together cream cheese, pesto, artichokes and salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Place chicken breasts between piece of plastic wrap and pound until thin, about 1/4" with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
- Spread about 2 tbsp of filling onto each flattened chicken breast, then roll up length wise, securing with either toothpick or cooking string (I used floss)
- In two shallot bowls, place lightly beaten egg and breadcrumbs.
- Dip each breast into egg, then into breadcrumbs.
- In large skillet heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown each breast, about 1 minute on each side. If using toothpicks, this may be difficult and you'll have to push toothpick through other side when you flip and brown second side.
- Bake browned chicken breasts in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.