Pollo Tricolore: Stuffed Chicken Breast with Red Peppers, Basil Pesto & Fontina
4 large chicken breasts, trimmed, sliced in half lengthwise and pounded to ¼-inch thickness
¼ cup basil pesto (1 tablespoon per breast)
4 pieces Fontina cheese, cut into one-ounce sticks
4 to 8 strips roasted red peppers
1 cup vegetable or canola oil for frying (extra virgin is not necessary)
Flour for dredging
Egg-wash for dredging: (4 eggs mixed with 2 oz. milk)
Breading for coating:
3 cups Panko breadcrumbs
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Take two of the chicken cutlets and lay flat on a cutting board, overlapping each other by half. Lay ¼ of the Fontina cheese, ¼ of the red peppers and ¼ of the pesto in the middle of the chicken cutlets and roll chicken into a log. For best results, wrap each rolled breast tightly in plastic, twist the ends to close and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.
Dredge each log in flour, then the egg-wash, then the Panko breadcrumb mixture, making sure to evenly coat the entire piece. Fry in hot oil over medium-high heat until golden brown on all sides, about one to two minutes total.
Remove from pan and transfer to a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Finish cooking the chicken in the oven at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, until the outside is a rich, golden brown and the cheese begins to ooze out. Remove one breast and slice open to make sure the meat inside is white and opaque in color.
Carve each breast into slices before serving and transfer to a platter or individual plates. Serve and enjoy!
- Pork tenderloin will also work for this recipe: cut the tenderloin into one-inch thick cutlets and pound to a ¼-inch thickness.
- Drop a few breadcrumbs into the oil before frying: if they sizzle, the oil is hot enough to brown the chicken.
- Tongs are the best tool to use when frying the chicken breasts.
- Serve with a medium-bodied wine like Pinot Grigio, Chianti or Pinot Noir.