feta & olive stuffed chicken

It’s been a crazy week.

The DC region was hit with an earthquake on Tuesday.  DC!  I still can’t believe it.  Since when does DC get earthquakes?  When did they send around that memo?  Because, seriously, it didn’t reach me via email, fax or carrier pigeon (and I check all three every night after I don my fuzzy slippers, but before I mix my Ovaltine).

And, in case you’re wondering, no, the Condo Far, Far Away didn’t sustain any damage, unless you count the untold damage to the fragile psyche of one stripey cat.

Now they’re calling for a hurricane.  Which I’m either perfectly prepared or completely unprepared for.  I keep vacillating between the two.  On the one hand, we have plenty of snacks, a box of band-aids and neosporen, five flashlights, and a lot of batteries lying around the house. Our stove top is gas, so we can light the pilot with a match and boil water for pasta.  We also have three board games, two of which have all of their pieces.  And then there’s the infinite number of Disney movies I can reenact/hits from the 80s and 90s I can perform for Nate if he gets bored.  Lucky guy.

On the other hand, I don’t have 80 gallons of water at the ready.  I also don’t have a cellar filled with dehydrated deli sandwiches, a cell phone that requires only hand cranking to operate, or 45 cans of tuna.  All of these items, according to the local news networks, are essential to survival.  So, frankly, I’m not optimistic about Nate’s and my chances of making it through this storm.

With this event looming on the horizon, my only option was to make truly delicious meals this week for dinner.  And since we’ve been spending most evenings practicing evacuation drills and preparing our doomsday shelter, I zeroed in on easy and quick recipies.  Enter the stuffed chicken breast.  Unassuming but oh so customizable, the stuffed chicken breast is the unsung hero of dinner.  Well, until now.

I followed the “recipe” offered by Great Easy Meals (I say “recipe” because they encourage you to mix and match ingredients to make your preferred dish), and chose to stuff my chicken with a mixture of feta cheese and chopped kalamata olives.  The resulting dinner was so yummy–salty from the olives and feta, and flavorful from the dried and fresh herbs–that if our condo doesn’t blow away during the impending hurricane, I could see myself making this dish again very soon.

Feta & Olive Stuffed Chicken

Courtesy of the Food Network Magazine’s “Great Easy Meals

-3/4 cup crumbled feta
-1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
-four boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6-to-8 ounces each
-olive oil
-Kosher salt
-Italian/Mediterranean seasoning (or a mixture of dried oregano, basil, rosemary and thyme)
-1 cup fresh herbs (such as chives, tarragon, basil and/or parsley)
-1/4 cup mayonnaise
-juice of 1/2 a lemon
-ground pepper

Make the Filling

Combined the feta, olives, and parsley in a bowl.  Set aside.

Stuff the Chicken

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Insert a paring knife into the thickest part of the chicken breasts to make a 3-inch-deep pocket.  Stuff the filling into the pockets.  Brush the chicken with the olive oil and season with salt and dried herbs.

Cook the Chicken

Heat a large nonstick ovenproof skillet* over high heat, about 5 minutes.  Add the chicken and cook until golden on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook 2 more minutes.  Transfer to the oven and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a breast registers 155 degrees, about 12 minutes.  Let rest 15 minutes.

Make the Sauce

Puree the fresh herbs with the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor to taste. Pour over top of the chicken and enjoy!

*I don’t have an ovenproof skillet, so I just started my chicken in a skillet, and finished it on a baking sheet in the oven.  It still came out great!

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