Rye-Stuffed Chicken Breast

For the chicken and stuffing:

1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 cup rye bread, diced small (about 2 slices)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup dried apples, diced
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 boneless chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the sauce:

2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon apple jelly, optional
Chopped fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For the chicken and stuffing: Toast bread in 1 teaspoon butter in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Transfer to a bowl. Return pan to burner.

Saute onion, celery and apples in 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat until soft; stir in thyme. Add vegetables to bread cubes; toss with broth, vinegar and seasonings until liquid is absorbed. Wipe out the skillet.

Prepare chicken by making a 1-inch slit in the side of the breast. Insert the knife blade to the other side (but not through), taking care to keep the blade parallel to the cutting board. Fill each with about 1/3 of the stuffing (they will be full).

Saute chicken breasts in the olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until brown on one side, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn them over, add any extra stuffing to the pan and transfer pan to the oven. Roast about 6-8 minutes, then remove breasts and stuffing from the pan to serving plate. Tent with foil to keep warm.

For the sauce: Saute shallots in the butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add flour, cook 1 minute.

Deglaze pan with wine, cider and vinegar. Simmer until slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes.

Finish sauce with jelly, if desired, and thyme, salt and pepper.

Pour sauce over chicken breasts and serve.

aggiejac - I have had this before and it is EXCELLENT! Thank you for the post! and it is also good with pork chops!