Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts with Gorgonzola and Walnut Stuffing

Serves 4

1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
1 Tbsp. dried plain bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage, plus sprigs of sage for serving
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Four 7- to 8-ounce skinless and boneless chicken breasts (do not pound to uniform thickness)
Salt to taste
4 bacon slices
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Position a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Mash the Gorgonzola, walnuts, bread crumbs and sage in a small bowl until combined. Season with pepper. Mold the cheese mixture into 4 finger-shaped logs.

Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, cut a deep pocket into the thickest side of each breast, being careful not to cut through to the top, bottom or other side of the breast. (If you do cut through, the hole can be patched by wrapping the bacon strip over it.) Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. One at a time, stuff each breast with a cheese log. With the smooth side of the breast facing up, wrap a bacon strip around each breast in a spiral, beginning at a point under the breast to hold the bacon in place while it cooks. If necessary, use a wooden toothpick to secure the bacon.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken, smooth sides up, in the skillet. Cook until the undersides are browned, about 2 minutes. Turn carefully and brown the other sides. Turn right side up. Holding the breasts back with a large spatula, tilt the skillet to pour off a good amount of the bacon fat (don’t worry about getting rid of it all). Loosely cover the skillet with foil. Cook until the chicken feels firm when pressed in the center, about 20 minutes. Discard the foil.

Position the broiler rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler. Place the skillet under the broiler and broil until the bacon crisps, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.