As I mentioned in the recent Czech-German Sauerkraut post, I served these lovely breasts with the sauerkraut, instead of the more traditional pork. Turns out, to be rather tasty and I will make this for The Latin Lover, sans the sauerkraut. I used the boneless, skinless breasts. I butterflied them, smeared some good German mustard on them, then stuffed ham and Swiss cheese inside, with a generous dousing of chopped, fresh dillweed and chives with a dusting of some other good things. I folded them together, like a book and skewered them. Brown them, place them on top of the Czech-German Sauerkraut and bake until they are just done. But, they would be great by themselves. If I were serving these by themselves, I would make a white wine-cheese sauce, with crushed caraway seeds. I would slice them and place the breasts over rice or roasted mustard-y potatoes. I was tempted to make the sauce, but decided it was unnecessary with the sauerkraut.
If serving without the sauerkraut, you might sauté 3-4 slices chopped bacon in the skillet until it’s crispy. Remove it and set it aside, then cook the breasts in the drippings and make the sauce with that, too. Come on. Walk on the wild side; you don’t do this often…enjoy the bacon!
Rhineland Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast (1 large entire breast)
- 1 tablespoon good strong German or Dijon mustard
- Garlic powder
- Smoked sweet (or hot) paprika
- Kosher salt (watch the quantity, because sauerkraut can be salty)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2-4 slices good smokey ham
- Slices of Swiss cheese (1.5 X 3-inch slices-I used 3 per breast)
- 2-4 teaspoons finely snipped fresh dill
- 2-4 teaspoons finely snipped fresh chives
- Oil or bacon fast
- White Wine-Cheese Sauce (optional)
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup warm milk (or 1/2 milk, 1/2 half-and-half)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (or part shredded cheddar)
Czech-German Sauerkraut (optional)
You will have two pieces of chicken breast (one whole breast, cut in half). (You may double or triple this recipe.) Lay them flat on the cutting board (you use this board ONLY for chicken or pork; do not use a wooden board). Place the breasts perpendicular to you, with the thin (the outer edge) edge on the side you will cut. Using a very sharp knife, cut through the breast, holding the knife horizontal to the board, almost all the way through to the thicker side. You now have a piece of chicken that looks like a butterfly! Repeat with each breast; set aside.
Open the breast, cut side up, and smear with half the mustard, a good dusting of garlic powder (or granules), paprika, black pepper and just a bit of salt (the mustard and ham will have quite a bit of salt, as well as sauerkraut, if you using that). Divide the ham slices evenly between the breasts and lay them on top of the seasonings, then the Swiss cheese and the snipped dillweed and chives.
Fold the bottom, thinner end over the filling. Fold it in about 1 inch, then fold one side over the other, enclosing the filling completely. Either tie the breasts or use a large skewer to close the cut edge as tightly as possible; set aside. (This step can be completed up to 24 hours ahead; store in the fridge.)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons oil or bacon fat (use the bacon fat if possible—it’s sooooo much better!) Add the breasts, not crowding them, and cook until nicely browned, about 2-3 minutes per side. The chicken will not be fully cooked. Place the skillet in the oven and back for about 20-30 minutes or until done. When done, remove from the oven, remove the chicken to a platter and set aside (tent loosely with foil).
Using the drippings in the pan, make the white wine-cheese sauce, (thin béchamel sauce) as directed here. Add shredded Swiss cheese (and some sharp cheddar).
Slice the chicken into 1/2-inch thick slices and serve with rice or roasted or mashed potatoes, napping the chicken with the white wine-cheese sauce. Excellent served with Czech Sauerkraut.
NOTE: If serving with sauerkraut, be careful with using salt, as sauerkraut can be salty and the cheese and ham can be, as well. Taste before salting.
Rhineland Stuffed Chicken Breasts Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2017. All rights reserved.
I didn’t use the white wine-cheese sauce, because I didn’t need it with sauerkraut. But, use the recipe a thin or medium béchamel sauce…remember? It’s one of the “mother” sauces; we did it awhile back. I think it would be great with some diced dill pickles added at the end, and maybe some capers, too.