Pancetta and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

We just got back from our annual lab ski trip, where stayed in a huge house up in New Hampshire and hit the slopes and snowshoeing trails at Mount Sunapee. We all had a great time relaxing, hanging out, and enjoying some incredible meals. Everyone signed up to make a dish over the course of two days and I volunteered to organize our shopping list and go to the grocery store with my labmate Libby. It was quite the adventure navigating an unfamiliar store with a two page list and two full shopping carts, but definitely worth it because everything was so tasty! The first night we had pizzas with crusts made from scratch and the second night I decided to tackle the main course.

I was actually a bit nervous when I first got into the kitchen because I’ve never cooked for 10 people before and certainly didn’t want to disappoint anyone or mess anything up! But, I quickly settled into my groove once I started prepping all the ingredients. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of multitasking in the kitchen and my goal was to finish all the dishes at the same time so nothing would get cold. Luckily, everything came together perfectly, and at one point I had all four burners going, which was a first for me (stirring risotto, cooking asparagus, searing chicken breasts, and keeping my eye on the simmering soup)! My menu included crab bisque (which I will post about next!), gruyere risotto with asparagus and peas, and these lovely stuffed chicken breasts.

I decided on chicken as the protein because everyone likes it and I knew it would be easy to find high quality chicken at the small local grocery store. There was no great inspiration for the filling – I just combined all my favorite ingredients! I mixed together caramelized shallots, garlic, pancetta, sun-dried tomatoes, and parmesan cheese, and then stirred in just enough mascarpone cheese to hold it all together. I think everyone enjoyed the meal and I’m already thinking about menu possibilities for next year!

Pancetta and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Printable Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
2/3 cup diced pancetta
2/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
1/4 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium low heat and sauté shallots for 10 to 15 minutes or until caramelized. Add garlic and sauté 1 additional minute. Remove from heat and place in a medium bowl. Add pancetta to the same pan and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned. Place pancetta in the same bowl with the caramelized shallots and allow ingredients to cool completely to room temperature. Add sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and mascarpone cheese to the bowl and mix until well combined.

Meanwhile, place chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet. Place filling evenly lengthwise down each chicken breast, roll up the sides, and secure with toothpicks.  Mix almond meal, flour, and salt in a shallow baking dish and evenly coat stuffed chicken with the flour mixture.

Heat oven to 350˚F. Heat butter and 1 remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat and place chicken breasts seam side down in the pan. Use large tongs to rotate the chicken and sear it on all four sides. Place seared chicken breasts seam side down in a large baking pan and bake at 350˚F for 20 to 25 minutes or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Allow to rest 5 minutes, then remove toothpicks, and cut on a bias. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition: 318 calories, 17.1g fat, 1.0g fiber, 32.6g protein per serving
Cost: $1.56 per serving

33 Responses to Pancetta and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

  1. Your friends are so lucky! I get nervous cooking for a group of friends as well….especially when they’re expecting food from a pro! :) Looks and sounds like a great meal.

  2. that’s so fun–i wish my co-workers and i did exciting things like that! and wow–this chicken dish rocks. sun-dried tomatoes in any form are utterly irresistible to me.

  3. You made such a delicious sounding meal! What lucky lab mates. I love the filling in this – some of my favorite things too! I can see why they were a hit.

  4. These look great, they remind me of a recipe from an Italian cookbook I’ve got at home that has chicken breasts stuffed with sun dried tomato, fresh mozarella and spinach and wrapped in pancetta or prosciutto, too delicious!

  5. Looks like a really nice meal to make for company. Go you with all that multi-tasking. I was using 3 burners a few days ago and felt so cool. Haha

  6. If I was on the ski trip with you, I would just eat all your home cooked food and forget about hitting the slopes! HA! They would have to roll me down the hills :)

    Chicken stuffed with cheese and sun dried tomatoes is so yummy! I like how you added pancetta for that smokey flavor. Nice job, Kerstin!

  7. The more I cook for others the more I realize how much i enjoy it! This meal looks great. I love the stuffing…mascarpone gives just the right amount of gourmet flair to this dish.

    So glad to hear you had fun on your ski trip!

  8. First- is that a new picture of you on the welcome? Its super cute!

    Second- this meal looks INCREDIBLE! You are quite the chef!! I bet it was the best meal of the weekend. The risotto sounds especially tasty but I love the chicken filling. Such a fun trip

    Hope you’re having a good week and have a relaxing weekend planned

  9. Good on ya for cooking under pressure! It is a little intimidating to cook for 10 ppl, in a kitchen that’s not yours. But u did it, and look how great it looks! Well done!

  10. Kerstin you are amazing! How did you manage to do all this at a meeting?!?!?! You are so smart to have planned the meals in advance – when my lab went to Keystone, CO we didn’t even think about it. We ended up just picking up random things at the store and making dinners that were not very good! I love stuffed chicken breasts, and sun-dried tomatoes are the best!

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