Stuffed Chicken Primavera

stuffed-chicken-primavera

I love Primavera pasta. And the funny thing is I can tell you EXACTLY when my love for it started. Trisha Benetti’s kitchen, Rothschild Wisconsin, circa 1996.  New school, new friend, and new snacks. (did you ever get excited about that, btw? A new friend always meant new snacks. Juli Coleman’s house always had Doritos and pudding cups). Trisha’s family had those pasta envelopes (can’t remember what brand and I even looked it up- no luck) – you know like a big bag of pasta with the powder for the sauce in there. One afternoon we wanted a snack so Trisha made the pasta primavera in the microwave and I was blown away. My mom didn’t really cook pre-made stuff out of a bag so I really thought I hit the jackpot.  Afterwards Trisha and I probably went and lit some incense next to her lava lamp.

Today, I eat a more authentic version of Primavera. I get it at Terilli’s Italian restaurant down the street at least once a week. So when my husband came home a couple weeks ago and said I needed to make a stuffed chicken primavera like the one he had at his office cafe, I was sold. He always comes to me with good ideas. Details and execution tips are always elusive, however.  I had to ask about 342 questions before I finally knew what he meant by ‘stuffed primavera.’  To sum it up for you, you cut large slits on the top of a thick chicken breast, then stuff it with fresh thiiiiiiinly sliced veggies. Then you top it with mozzarella cheese and bake it. And you eat it with something like a salad or sweet potato instead of a huge plate of pasta. Healthy! So good! So pretty!

Recipe

  • 6 large, fat boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp italian herb blend
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 large zucchini, very thinly sliced and then halved (so like half moons)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, thinly slice and diced into small pieces
  • 1/2 sweet onion, julienne
  • 1 yellow pepper, julienne
  • 5 mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 deli-style slices mozzarella (or shredded is fine)

Preheat oven to 400.  Divide the chicken into two large baking dishes (I didn’t have one large enough to fit them all). Cut about 3-5 slits along the top of each of them (I did 3 the long way), making sure not to cut through to the bottom. Drizzle with some olive oil, then season with the salt and pepper and Italian herbs. Mix the very thinly slices veggies together (you should have about 4 cups total), season with a little S&P, and then stuff them in all of the chicken slits. Top each chicken with a slice of mozzarella. Pour 1/2 cup of wine into each dish.  Cover the dishes, then bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 15 minutes until chicken is done and cheese is browning.

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