Wild Rice and Asparagus Stuffed Chicken
Prep: 40 minutes
Bake: 18 minutes
Nonstick cooking spray
1 ½ cups less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup rice select royal blend texmati white, brown, wild and red rice blend
1 tablespoon dried minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried parsley leaves
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 8 ounces each)
4 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces and softened
¾ bunch fresh asparagus (about ¾ pound), cut into ½ inch pieces (about 1 ½ cups)
½ red bell pepper, chopped (about ½ cup)
¾ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup sharp Cheddar cheese spread
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray rimmed baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. In medium saucepot, heat broth, rice blend, garlic, parsley, onion powder ½ teaspoon salt and butter to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 15 minutes. Remove saucepot from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff rice with fork.
Meanwhile, with sharp paring knife, cut each chicken breast horizontally in half but do not cut all the way through, leaving about ¼ inch uncut. Open chicken breasts and lay flat between plastic wrap on work surface. With flat end of meat mallet, pound each breast to flatten to ¼ inch thickness; remove plastic wrap.
In medium bowl, combine cooked rice, cream cheese, asparagus, bell pepper and thyme. Leaving ½ inch border, spoon about ½ cup rice mixture onto bottom half of each chicken breast, then roll chicken around filling to enclose. Place chicken, seam side down, on prepared baking pan. Brush outside of chicken breasts with oil and sprinkle with remaining ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Bake chicken 18 to 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and internal temperatures of chicken and stuffing reaches 165 degrees; let stand 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in small saucepot, cook cream, cheese spread and cayenne to simmering over medium-low heat; simmer 2 minutes. Makes about 1 ½ cups sauce. Spoon sauce over chicken to serve.
Chef tip: Chicken can be stuffed and sauce can be prepared and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance. Bake chicken as directed in step 3 and reheat sauce on stovetop.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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