Monday, January 8, 2007

Spicy Peanut Encrusted Jarlsberg And Avocado Stuffed Chicken Breasts

It must have started with Sher's Bok Choi with Peanuts and Cilantro, then was egged on by another food blogger (I think it was Sam) who had a peanut butter ice cream base in her fridge, when last night, faced with yet more chicken breasts to prepare for dinner, I was struck with the idea of peanuts.

All hail the power of suggestion.

Mr. CC and I tossed around a few ideas and came up with this winner of a recipe. If you don't have NapaStyle's Toasted Spice Rub, treating yourself to a container of this time-saving spice medley is worth the shipping cost - promise.

Plate this with a large spoonful of roasty-toasty veggies and you've got a low-carb dinner worthy of company.

Pair it with a deeply black Malbec from Cahors in the southwest of France and you've got a perfect, cozy evening at home with just you and your main squeeze.

Spicy Peanut Encrusted Jarlsburg & Avocado Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Christine's original recipe
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded with a mallet to 1/4-inch thickness (remove tenders)
Kosher salt and peppercorn medley (I used McCormick) for inside the breasts
4 to 6 2-inch long x 1/4-inch thick pieces of Jarlsberg cheese
6 to 8 thin slices of ripe avocado
1 cup pan-roasted, unsalted, skinless peanut pieces
1 tablespoon NapaStyle Toasted Spice Rub
1 teaspoon kosher salt
25 grinds peppercorn medley (about)
1/4 cup egg substitute (or 1 egg, lightly beaten)
Olive oil and butter for the pan

Lay the pounded chicken breasts on a flat surface, insides facing up. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and a few grindings of the pepper medley.
Lay 2 or 3 pieces of the cheese on each breast (the number of pieces you use will depend on the size of the chicken breast. Overstuffing will only cause the filling to spill out of the rolled up chicken as it's cooking.)
Lay 3 or 4 slices of avocado over the cheese. (Ditto)
Beginning at the larger, rounded end, roll the chicken breast up, jelly-roll fashion, toward the smaller, pointed end and secure with toothpicks. Set aside.

In a food processor, add the cup of peanuts, the toasted spice rub, the salt and peppercorn medley and buzz until the peanuts are fairly finely ground. Be careful to not process too long or it will turn to peanut butter. You want this to be like crumbs.
Place the egg substitute or beaten egg in a bowl large enough to dip each chicken breast in.
Place the peanut mixture in another bowl to do the same.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Heat a heavy skillet to medium high heat and add equal amounts of oil and butter - I guess I used about 1 tablespoon of each, but I don't measure.
Dip a breast in the egg, rolling it around to coat it completely then dredge it in the peanut mixture, coating it well. Repeat with the second breast.
Place in the skillet and brown well on all sides. Some cheese may ooze out of the chicken breasts. Unless you've invited the Queen, or Thomas Keller, to dinner, just serve it along side the chicken when plated. It tastes very good.
When both breasts are browned, place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking the chicken until just done, about 10 minutes.

To serve, first remove the toothpicks from each breast. If you want to be really fancy-schmancy, using a sharp knife, slice each breast into rounds and serve overlapping eachother. If fancy doesn't matter, serve whole or cut into halves.

For the roasty-toasties, I roasted a medley of cauliflower, broccoli, cipollini onions and whole, peeled garlic cloves, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with kosher salt, generous grinds of Tellicherry black pepper, and dotted with small pieces of Earth Balance buttery spread or butter, in a large roasting pan, covered with foil, in a 375 oven for about 30 minutes, shaking the pan often. I then removed the foil and let the veggies get golden brown for about 10 minutes more. I've blogged variations on this theme many times. It's foolproof.

And for dessert?

How about home made Peppermint Chocolate Chunk Ice Milk?

Stay tuned.


Kalyn said...

It does sound quite fabulous.

home cook said...

I usually do chicken breasts with almonds-garlic coating.But I get tired of the same old, same old. Now I have a new recipe, can't wait to try it out. Thank you very much. Really enjoy your recipes.

Anonymous said...

This really looks great and I admire for time you must spend putting it all together, photos and everything. I shall just have to emigrate again so I can link up to the stores you suggest so that I can get the Napa style spice rub!!

Jann said...

This is quite a piece of art-very delicious looking!

cookingchat said...

wow, that's a fancy & tasty looking chicken recipe. I just made chicken marsala last night which was good, this looks like a bit more work!

sher said...

Christine! You are turning out so many fabulous recipes! There must be crowds of people standing outside your house, trying to get in to eat the food! :):) Thanks for mentioning me!! That chicken is genius--everything about it, from the stuffing to the coating, looks so good!