Have you ever eaten Hasselback potatoes? I admit - I have not. I heard about them a year or so ago during a lazy weekend lounging about watching Bobby Flay look sexy while grilling things on television. You slice potatoes most of the way through, fill the slices with some sort of flavor butter/paste or ingredient, and bake. I saw a version of this applied to chicken breasts on Pinterest and was totally sold on the idea. Chicken breasts are the most boring and flavorless of all proteins to me, so any recipe that jazzes them up is a win! I’ve been having a Moment with sun dried tomatoes so wanted to do a riff on caprese flavors.
I started with three boneless skinless chicken breasts (two for us for dinner and one for a take-to-work lunch). Using a sharp paring knife, I made a series of slices about 1/2” apart from each other. Make sure you stop before you slice all the way through!
I sliced some fresh mozzarella and sun dried tomatoes and stuffed them as far as I could into the slices. I also seasoned with salt and pepper.
I bought an 8-ounce container of fresh pesto at Fairway and used about half of it on the three chicken breasts. I baked them for 25 minutes at 350° until the meat thermometer hit 165°.
I served the chicken with cauliflower ‘rice'. I shredded it in my food processor and cooked it on the stove top in oil to slightly brown it. Then, I tossed it with the remaining pesto sauce. To be honest, I would have much preferred pasta -- these flavors just beg for some penne or cavatelli -- but after a few days of eating leftover Packers Casserole, I needed a vegetable. Whether with pesto sauce or tomato sauce, a pasta side for this would be delicious.
It would be delicious because this chicken is fantastic. The rich tomatoes, the melty mozz, the spicy pesto - you cannot beat this combination of adornments. These were devoured right quick. Plus, the third that I saved for a lunch reheated beautifully and was just as tasty. I am already dreaming up different Hasselback iterations - red onion, jack cheese, cilantro, and BBQ sauce is one that immediately comes to mind. What would you stuff into your Hasselback chicken?