Thursday, September 8, 2016

Chicken Manzana

Original recipe 3/15/16


New Recipe!

When I see a recipe that appeals to me I cut or tear lol it out of a newspaper or magazine.  I must have hundreds of them that I find appealing and want to make.  This is one of them.  

I had never used Manchego cheese (Spanish type mild and flavorful) so I gave in and bought the smallest piece the deli had. It is pricey.  The pieces were all about 4 oz. and this recipe called for 2 oz. so we'll have the remainder with some of the ham and I'll make a ham and cheese sandwich later in the week.  It is delicious! 

I am away from my kitchen but I can cook almost anywhere if I have a bowl, dish and a pan or two.  If they are not available I have been known to hit my local dollar store.  Disposable and inexpensive sometimes when there aren't many options that store fits the bill so to speak.......They even have $1.00 can openers!!!

I'm having some knee issues so my leg/knee has given me a few limitations so I have asked hubby to step in and he did agree.  This will be his FIRST attempt at an involved recipe. 

 Note:  Fortunately the local grocery store had a sample of it and he loved it so he is going along to make it.  

I will supervise.  There is some prep.  He hates prep but if I can I'll try to help a bit.  The recipe is below and hopefully I can get a few good shots of him making this dish.

I adapted the recipe because I didn't have the spices and panko breadcrumbs.  I substituted chili powder for the spices because that's what I had on hand.

To give the sauce a deeper depth I think what the recipe suggested is a good idea.  Having said that we liked it with just the chili powder.  I used a teaspoon of it.

 The Sauce

3 T panko bread crumbs (I used regular unseasoned)
2 T butter
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 oz. Spanish Manchego cheese (it is expensive) so you may want to try another type(maybe taco type cheese)
1 medium granny smith apple
2 oz. Black Forest Ham, chopped
1 cup 100% apple juice
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. Chipotle seasoning
1 tsp. ground cumin 
Note:  I did not have either of the last two ingredients so I used chili powder to substitute.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  

Place bread crumbs and 1 T butter cut into small pieces aside while butter softens

Cut a deep pocket into top of chicken breast, careful not to cut too deep but about several inches wide.

In a large fry pan place remaining 1 T butter and melt.  Add chicken, cut side down; cook about 2 to 3 minutes on each side until browned.

Transfer chicken to baking sheet with cut side up. (set aside for chicken to cool about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile cut cheese and apple into 1/4 in cubes; approximately 1/2 cup each; add to bread crumbs.  Chop ham; stir into bread crumbs mixture until well blended.

Squeeze chicken slightly with tongs to open pocket; fill breasts with ham mixture, packing firmly and mounding any extra on top.

Bake approximately 12 to 14 minutes .  depending on thickness of chicken.  No pink should be seen in chicken.*** My chicken breasts were thick so my baking time was about 25 minutes.

Combine in same pan on low: apple juice, applesauce, seasoning and simmer 7 to 8 minutes stirring occasionally or until slightly thickened.  Transfer chicken to cutting board; let stand 5 minutes to rest.

Pour sauce onto serving platter; slice chicken and arrange over sauce.  Serve.

**I served this dish over a quinoa/ rice blend.  You can use plain rice or a side salad. The ham and cheese added flavor and the apples were a nice touch.  We liked it and I would definitely make it again.

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