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Author Notes: A blend of mozzerella and pesto stuffed inside a chicken breast that has been crusted in a parmesan, gluten free panko and cornmeal mixture then seared and baked in a flavorful tomato sauce. This recipe is a classic dish with a twist and incorporates a sauce that is a homemade yet a simple family recipe.
*If you don't need to avoid gluten use regular panko bread crumbs —Andie
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup mozzerella cheese
- 1/4 cup prepared pesto
- 2 cups white rice flour - season with 2 tsp of both salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup coarse cornmeal
- 3/4 cup gluten-free panko breadcrumbs (Ians brand is good)
- 4 eggs
- olive oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 small 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes (drain the excess water but reserve to thin out sauce)
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- To start, begin creating the sauce. Add the olive oil and onion to the pan and saute until onion is translucent. Add the garlic cooking for about 1 min before adding the remaining ingredients. Be careful not to burn the garlic in this step. Once the garlic has cooked about a min add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir. Turn the heat to low and let simmer while you begin preparing the chicken breasts. If the sauce is too thick at water until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Preheat oven to 400 and prepare a 9x13 baking dish by lightly spraying with olive oil.
- Take each chicken breast and create a pocket by cutting into the center of the side of the breast being careful not to cut all the way through. Stuff each breast with 2 tbsp mozzerella cheese and 1 tbsp of pesto.
- Put the seasoned rice flour in a shallow bowl and in another shallow bowl crack the eggs and whisk lightly to break up eggs and create the egg wash. Then in a third bowl combine 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese, the cornmeal and the gluten free panko.
- Take the first chicken breast and coat in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip the chicken breast in the egg wash and then in the breadcrumb mixture covering it well. Place on a plate and then repeat with the remaining 3 breasts.
- Spread the sauce in the bottom of the 9x13 pan. This should cover the bottom but you do not want the chicken to be completely submerged so if there is too much sauce you can just reserve it for later use. Add the chicken breasts and then top with the remaining 1/4 of mozzerella and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese ( about 1 tbsp each type of cheese over each breast).
- Bake 10-15 minutes until cheese has browned and chicken has reached internal temp of 165. If the chicken has not reached 165 but cheese is browned, cover with aluminum foil for the remainder of the cooking process.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chicken