French Style Stuffed Chicken Breasts

How many different ways are there to prepare chicken? It can be a very simple meal or very elaborate. Chicken is a pretty safe protein to serve guests, since most people like chicken, even picky eaters. This is an option for a gorgeous presentation, with a burst of incredible flavors. Not only is it a beautiful entree, you can also do most of the prep work ahead of time, and when you’re ready to make dinner, it comes together so quickly and easily.

America’s Test Kitchen borrowed a brilliant technique from the French when making the stuffing for this chicken. They used some of the chicken trimmings to make a ground mixture, and mixed it in with the mushrooms and aromatics. The stuffing is absolutely amazing in taste and stays together wonderfully, without falling apart and crumbling when the chicken is cut. The pan sauce brings the flavor of the whole dish to an even higher level and also also gives it a flair of fanciness.

Last week, I made this dish on a Thursday night, after working 3 nights in a row and spending all day with my sister and brother. I’m not making this up. I came home and whipped this up in 20 minutes, because I had prepped the chicken a a week ahead, kept it in the freezer, and all I had to do that night was cook it and whisk up the sauce. Isn’t this a great option for an easy weeknight dinner or a luxurious dinner party or a holiday?

Cut the chicken breast horizontally in half, but not cutting all the way through, so that the two halves remain intact.

Open up the chicken breast, cover with plastic wrap and pound to an even thickness about 1/4 inch thin. Trim the chicken breast, to form a 8×5 inch rectangle. Set the trimmed meat aside, you will use some of it later for the filling.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 Tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes, until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms begin to turn golden. Add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, until the onions are tender and golden. Coarsely chop the chicken breast trimmings and pulse in the food processor until it becomes a puree. You should have about 1/2 cup. Discard the rest of it. Add the mushroom mixture to the food processor and also pulse it until it’s coarsely chopped. Add about 1 teaspoon of fresh minced parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1/4-1/3 teaspoon salt and pepper. Mix to combine.  Spread 1/4 of the stuffing over each chicken breast, leaving a border around the edges. Roll up the chicken breast, starting with the short side, as tightly as you can without squeezing out the filling. Tie it up with kitchen twine. 

Here’s a GREAT TIP:

Wrap each stuffed chicken breast in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Feel free to make a double batch and freeze the rest. Put it in a sealed container or a ziptop bag and freeze. Whenever you want to cook this meal, unthaw the chicken (I usually take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight, or take it out in the morning and unthaw it on the counter). Proceed with the rest of the recipe.

Heat 1 1/2 – 2 Tablespoons of oil in a skillet on medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the chicken. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, so that each of the four sides is golden brown. (In the picture, you see only 3 chicken breasts. That’s because there were four people for dinner and 3 is plenty, so I only cooked 3. However, the recipe is for 4 chicken breasts). Add the chicken broth and the white wine to the skillet, cover and cook until the chicken is 160 degrees in the center, 12-18 minutes. Take out the chicken and cover it with aluminum foil. Meanwhile, whisk in the mustard into the cooking liquid. Increase the heat to high and cook the sauce until it reduces to half the amount. It will become thicker and will have a syrupy consistency. Take the sauce off the heat. Whisk in the butter, remaining lemon juice and freshly minced parsley.

The sauce is very concentrated, so it will give a lot of flavor to the dish, and you only need a little bit of it. (It’s also very important to use low sodium chicken broth, because it will become too salty when it reduces.)

Snip off the chicken twine from the chicken breasts, slice the chicken and pour the sauce over it.

 

French Style Stuffed Chicken Breasts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 4 large chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • 8 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • salt, pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut the chicken breast horizontally in half, but not all the way through, so that the two halves remain intact.
  2. Open up the chicken breast, cover with plastic wrap and pound to an even thickness about ¼ inch thin.
  3. Trim the chicken breast, to form a 8x5 inch rectangle.
  4. Set the trimmed meat aside, you will use some of it later for the filling.
  5. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
  6. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 Tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 7 minutes, until the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms begin to turn golden.
  7. Add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes, until the onions are tender and golden.
  8. Coarsely chop the chicken breast trimmings and pulse in the food processor until it becomes a puree. You should have about ½ cup. Discard the rest of it.
  9. Add the mushroom mixture to the food processor and also pulse it until it's coarsely chopped.
  10. Add about 1 teaspoon of fresh minced parsley, 1½ teaspoons lemon juice, ¼-1/3 teaspoon salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
  11. Spread ¼ of the stuffing over each chicken breast, leaving a border around the edges.
  12. Roll up the chicken breast, starting with the short side, as tightly as you can without squeezing out the filling. Tie it up with kitchen twine.
  13. Heat 1½ - 2 Tablespoons of oil in a skillet on medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the chicken. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, so that each of the four sides is golden brown.
  14. Add the chicken broth and the white wine to the skillet, cover and cook until the chicken is 160 degrees in the center.
  15. Take out the chicken and cover it with aluminum foil.
  16. Meanwhile, whisk the mustard into the cooking liquid.
  17. Increase the heat to high and cook the sauce until it reduces to half the amount. It will become thicker and will have a syrupy consistency.
  18. Take the sauce off the heat. Whisk in the butter, remaining lemon juice and freshly minced parsley.
  19. Snip off the twine from the chicken breasts, slice the chicken and pour the sauce over it.
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Comments

  1. Oksana Babich says

    Will be making this either tonight or tomorrow! Thanks so much! Be blessed. Love, love, love your blog! SO inspirational!! :)

  2. Tina says

    Ohh brother, this looks DELICIOUSSS..I seriously have some extra saliva in my mouth after reading this post… will defiantly make it!

    quick question for you Olga, you stated that you made this dish earlier and froze it until you were ready to use the chicken. Did you freeze the uncooked stuffed chicken or you cooked the chicken first and then froze it?? I wanna make some meals ahead and have my freezer full of goodies, so that I can get to them whenever I need to. Thanks dear:)

  3. Masha says

    So i made this today… i like it… but it didnt look as pretty as yours because i dont have food processor and i didnt have those kitchen twine.. i looked for it everywhere and i couldnt find it..

    • says

      Masha, I’ve bought kitchen twine at Walmart before and it’s sold in many other stores. Next time, you can even use regular thread, just fold it over multiple times to make it thicker.

  4. Marina says

    Hi Olga,
    I’m very excited to try this. Just one question though, I wanted to know do you use raw or fried trimmings for the stuffing? And have you ever tried finishing it off in the oven instead of skillet? Thank you!

    • says

      Marina,
      The trimmings are raw. No, I’ve never finishes cooking the chicken in the oven. You won’t have the delicious sauce if you don’t do it in a skillet. Besides, cooking it in the broth makes the chicken really moist and juicy.

  5. Anna says

    If I dont use the white wine, will it be really different? I have all of the ingredients except that and I was wondering if the sause will still work out even if i dont use it?

    • says

      Anna, you can use chicken broth instead, but it will taste different. I really like the flavor that the wine gives this dish, but you can do without.

  6. Anna says

    Will it be really different if I dont use the white wine? I have all the ingredients except that and I was wondering if I can still do the sauce without using the wine. Thank You!

  7. Elina M says

    Great recipe, Olga! My husband couldn’t get over how delicious the entire meal was (chicken, stuffing, sauce)! I felt like an accomplished chef with the continual flow of praises and compliments coming my way:)
    And your blog couldn’t be any easier to follow! Thanks for your hard work!!

  8. Marianne groenings says

    This is an amazing recipe… I made this todY with 3 breasts, we shared one for dinner and. I froze the other two… Will be a great meal out of the freezer on a work night when I have no time to prep. Definitely company worthy !!!

    • says

      Absolutely! Whenever I make these, I like to make a few extra and freeze them. It doesn’t take too much extra work, and I REALLY appreciate it on the nights when all I have to do is sear it and make the sauce.

    • says

      Well, that is hard to say. In the recipe instructions, I wrote to cook them for 12-18 minutes. You might have to poke it with a knife and if the juices run clear, it’s ready. However, you still run the risk of the chicken overcooking. I would definitely recommend getting a thermometer, since it’s very inexpensive and I use mine all the time. Also, you don’t bake the chicken in the oven, you cook it in a skillet on the stovetop.

    • says

      Thanks, Natasha. This is definitely a favorite in our house. I serve it a lot when we have company too. It’s especially great since you can do almost all the prep work ahead of time.

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