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Author Notes: This recipe is a good example of what you can do in a low carb, low sugar, low salt world and still eat a meal that you want to make again and again. I was inspired by this recipe (http://www.mendabody.net/postings/blogs/detail/heavenly-stuffed-chicken) although I've diverged a bit. I do not eat it every night, but the chickpea based pastas are BY FAR the best low-carb option. I use the ones sold by BANZA - you can get penne, rigatoni, fusilli, and shells. Half the carbs and twice the protein, and really as close to a wheat pasta as you can get (and sure unlike the rice varieties, or using tofu based foods). I am writing the recipe to serve 2 from one large breast. In fact I usually make 3-4 breasts worth at a time. You want to avoid the sugars of a store-bought red sauce and spend just a slight amount of time making your own, quickly? Then forget the jar. Puree 28 oz of San Marzanos in a food processor to the consistency you like. Add a half a cup of caramelized, diced sweet onion to which you added garlic at the end, along with the herbs and spices of choice (I use black pepper, red flakes, oregano, basil). Pulse well to mix and you are ready to heat with the cooked pasta for 5 minutes. —Brian Coppola
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, butterflied open
- 3 ounces roasted red peppers
- 1 ounce parmigiano reggiano (in 2 slices)
- 2 slices cooked chicken bacon (or your meat of choice)
- 1.5 ounces fresh mozzarella (in 3 slices)
- 0.5 ounces grated parmigiano reggiano
- 1 tablespoon oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 4 ounces chickpea pasta
- 1-2 cups red pasta sauce (see above)
- Lay the butterflied chicken breast(s) out on a rimmed baking pan covered with non-stick foil.
- Coat the breasts with half of the herbs and spices.
- Place the roasted red peppers off-center along the length of the open breast(s), then lay the bacon pieces followed by the hard cheese slices.
- Fold the breast over and press lightly. Arrange the breast(s) to be spaced out in the tray. Coat with the remaining herbs and spices.
- Bake at 400F for 30 minutes (I do this in a convection toaster oven than can handle up to 4 large breasts at a time).
- Start your pasta with about 5 minutes to go. It should be done, drained, and mixed with the sauce, sitting over low heat, when the 30 minutes are up.
- Remove the pan chicken and pre-heat the broiler. Top the cooked breasts with the mozzarella and broil until the cheese is bubbly and starts to brown lightly.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and set for a moment. Take one stuffed breast to a cutting board and divide it into two halves.
- Divide the pasta and sauce between two shallow bowls, place the half-breast onto the pasta and top with some grated cheese.