IN KEEPING WITH SAM’S POST ON CRANBERRIES, I’ve decided to post a recipe that can be done relatively easily but makes for mouth-watering dish that makes any dinner a special occasion. The long title is the only way I could describe it, but basically what you will do is take boneless, skinless chicken breasts and wrap them around a stuffing that is full of cranberries and apples. Since I’m all for cutting corners to make cooking easier, feel free to substitute a basic boxed stuffing for the overall stuffing recipe and just spiffy it up with the added celery, apples, and cranberries. Depending on how you like your stuffing, you can use white bread, cornbread, whole wheat bread… use your imagination! Don’t be afraid of tying a roast, either… it’s easier than it seems. 🙂 You might find that stuffing is left over or that some falls out. It’s ok for this to happen; just tuck it to the side of the roast in the pan and you can have extra available for those who want it. My family loved this recipe and would like to have it again!
Cranberry-Apple Stuffed Chicken Breast Roast
For the stuffing you will need:
- 3 cups dry, unseasoned bread cubes
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 medium, tart apple that’s been cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tsp. poultry seasoning (or use 1/2 tsp. each of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme)
- Apple juice or apple cider
For the roast:
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Use a mallet and pound them to about 1/2″ – 1″ thick
- Butcher’s twine
- Panko breadcrumbs
Assemble all the stuffing ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Add a little apple cider/juice to your stuffing mixture to just moisten it to the point that it starts to stick together. Don’t make it too soggy or else the texture won’t be great when it comes out of the oven.
Lay your flattened chicken breasts side-by-side on some plastic wrap, overlapping them slightly so there are few gaps. I would suggest that you place a wide end overlapping with a narrow end to give you some uniformity. Spread your stuffing mixture from one side of your breasts to the other, making an even layer. Using your plastic wrap to help you, roll the breasts over the stuffing jelly-roll style, tucking in your stuffing as you go. Don’t worry if it looks a little messy, this is ok. Cut 3 lengths of butcher’s twine approximately 24″ long each. Slide the twine under your roll and bring the ends up to the top of the roast and tie them together securely with a knot. Place a length of twine at either end of the roast and one in the middle. Tuck in any stuffing that may have fallen out and seal the ends of the roast with toothpicks inserted through the meat, if desired.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place your roast seam-side down in your baking pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper, followed by sprinkling with panko breadcrumbs. Dot the top of the roast with butter, if desired, and add a little wine or chicken stock to the bottom of your baking pan for moisture (think 1/4 cup roughly). Bake uncovered for approximately 60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the roll (and yes, into the stuffing) reads 165 degrees and juices run clear. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to stand for 15-20 minutes before cutting.
Enjoy, and happy cooking!