RECIPE

Cheddar-Chutney Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Cran-Apple Wild Rice

Here’s a fabulous, fancy way to serve stuffed chicken breasts, with a side of wild rice and finished with gravy.

Ingredients

For the wild rice:

  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 small ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 scallions, whites and greens, thinly sliced on an angle
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

For the chicken:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup prepared or homemade chutney of choice
  • 1 cup grated or sliced extra-sharp white cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

For the gravy:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 3 tablespoons dark amber maple syrup

Preparation

Prepare the wild rice: In a small pan over medium heat, toast the pecans until fragrant. Chop and reserve.

Bring a small pot or kettle of water to a boil. Place the cranberries into a small bowl and cover with boiling water to reconstitute. Let stand until softened, then drain and chop.

In a medium size saucepot, melt the butter over medium heat and add the celery, apple, onion, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté to soften, 7-8 minutes. Add the rice and toast for a minute or two; add the stock and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cover and cook for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 15 minutes more, until tender and fluffy. Drain and add the chopped cranberries, scallions, parsley and reserved pecans. Adjust the salt and pepper, to taste.

For the chicken:

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

Butterfly the chicken breasts open by cutting through the breasts lengthwise to open the breasts like a book. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and thyme. Fill the chicken breasts with chutney and cheese. Close the chicken breasts back over to cover the filling.

Heat a large, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO, two turns of the pan. Brown the stuffed chicken on both sides and transfer to oven to finish cooking through, 15-20 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil.

For the gravy:

Melt the butter in the skillet and whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, then add the stock and season with black pepper; whisk in the Worcestershire sauce, Dijon and maple syrup. Let thicken to coat a spoon and adjust the seasoning.

Serve the chicken topped with gravy and the wild rice alongside.

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Rachael Ray