Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Stuffed chicken breast, or sushi roll?

I saw this recipe on TV a couple weeks ago and I thought it was going to be knock-your-socks off AMAZING. The chefs that were preparing it made it seem like it was going to be SO tasty. But to my dismay, it was just good. I liked it, I just didn't LOVE it. However, it did grow on me the more I ate it. Perhaps I'm becoming a cooking snob and expecting everything I cook to make my eyes roll back and say numnum. Oh well, that just means I'll have to try a ba-jillion more recipes. So many recipes, such little time :)

Stuffed Chicken Breasts – Serves 2
Published May 1, 2008. From Cook's Illustrated.

If your chicken breasts come with the tenderloin attached, pull them off (see “Removing Chicken Tenderloins” below) and reserve them to make the puree in step 1. If necessary, trim these breasts to make uniform rectangles and to yield 1 1/2 to 2 ounces total trimmings per breast. Because the stuffing contains raw chicken, it is important to check its temperature in step 5.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (8 ounces each) (see note)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 ounces white mushrooms , trimmed, wiped clean, and sliced thin
1/2 small leek , white part halved lengthwise, washed, and chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Use tip of sharp chef’s knife to cut each breast horizontally, starting at thinnest end and stopping knife tip 1/2 inch away from edge so that halves remain attached. Open up breasts to create 4 cutlets. Place 1 cutlet at a time in heavy-duty zipper-lock bag and pound to 1/4-inch thickness (cutlet should measure about 8 inches by 6 inches). Trim about 1/2 inch from long sides of cutlets (about 1 1/2 to 2 ounces of meat per cutlet, or a total of 1/2 cup from all 4 cutlets) to form rectangles that measure about 8 by 5 inches. Process all trimmings in food processor until smooth, about 20 seconds. Transfer puree to medium bowl and set aside. (Do not wash out food processor bowl.)
2. FOR THE STUFFING: Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until all moisture has evaporated and mushrooms are golden brown, 8 to 11 minutes. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil and leek; continue to cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 2 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 3/4 teaspoons lemon juice and cook until all moisture has evaporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to bowl of food processor. Return pan to heat; add wine and scrape pan bottom to loosen browned bits. Transfer wine to small bowl and set aside. Rinse and dry skillet.
3. Pulse mushroom mixture in food processor until roughly chopped, about five 1-second pulses. Transfer mushroom mixture to bowl with pureed chicken. Add 3/4 teaspoons parsley, ½ of 3/4 teaspoon table salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Using rubber spatula, fold together stuffing ingredients until well combined (you should have about 3/4 cups stuffing).
4. TO ASSEMBLE AND COOK: With thinnest ends of cutlets pointing away from you, spread one-quarter of stuffing evenly over each cutlet with rubber spatula, leaving 3/4-inch border along short sides of cutlet and 1/4-inch border along long sides. Roll each breast up as tightly as possible without squeezing out filling and place seam-side down. Evenly space 3 pieces twine (each about 12 inches long) beneath each breast and tie, trimming any excess.
5. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add chicken bundles and brown on 4 sides, about 2 minutes per side. Add broth and reserved wine to pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and cook until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted into thickest part of chicken, 12 to 18 minutes. Transfer chicken to cutting board and tent loosely with foil.
6. TO MAKE SAUCE AND SERVE: While chicken rests, whisk mustard into cooking liquid. Increase heat to high and simmer, scraping pan bottom to loosen browned bits, until dark brown and reduced to 1/2 cup, 7 to 10 minutes. Off heat, whisk in butter and remaining 3/4 teaspoons parsley and 3/4 teaspoons lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Remove twine and cut each chicken bundle on bias into 6 medallions. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.