balsamic mushroom and gruyere stuffed chicken

I don’t know if you’ve ever shopped at a Hy-Vee before, but if you have, you’ve probably noticed the chicken grillers in the butcher case. Now, I lot of times, I’m a little leery about buying any prepared foods from the butcher; but, in this case, I highly recommend you try one. For those of you that don’t know about chicken grillers: a chicken griller is a stuffed chicken (with anything from ricotta and spinach to black beans and salsa) wrapped in bacon that you can either grill or bake.

We only ever shop at Hy-Vee when we’re at the lake, and in those cases, we’re looking for something easy to whip together for dinner so we can spend more time on the dock. Chicken grillers were the perfect option; I chose the three-cheese chicken. However, I had quite the surprise when I realized that instead of the three-cheese chicken griller, I had been given the Hawaiian chicken griller with pineapple and Canadian bacon.

I am by no means suggesting that the Hawaiian version wasn’t good; for all I know, it was delicious. But, I was pretty disappointed and in that case, if it wasn’t the three-cheese, it just wasn’t going to do.

So, when we got back home, I made my own version of a chicken griller. I was originally just going to do it with cheese inside, but the mushrooms caught my eye. I stuffed the chicken withGruyere cheese. Honestly, if I wasn’t making this for my whole family (and if I hadn’t just gotten in trouble for picking Stilton as a snack, which apparently is too pungent for most people), I wouldn’t added something a little more tangy too, like gorgonzola. But, the Gruyere was just fine on it’s own.

Now, my cravings have been satisfied. But, I’m sure I’ll be craving something else before the dayis done.

Balsamic Mushroom and Gruyere Stuffed Chicken

Makes 4 Servings

Ingredients:
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 pint cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
8 slices pancetta

Heat a sauté pan with olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Between two pieces of plastic wrap, pound out chicken breasts to ¼-inch thickness. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Add 1 oz. cheese (1/4th of total) to the bottom side of the breast. Add 1/4th of cooled mushroom mixture.

Fold in sides of the chicken breast lengthwise. Using the plastic wrap, roll up the breast. This may take a couple of tries to get down. Twist ends of plastic wrap so that the breast is held tightly together. Repeat with remaining chicken. Set aside for about 15 minutes, so that the breasts will hold their shape.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove chicken from plastic wrap. Carefully wrap two pieces of pancetta around each breast, making sure that there is minimal overlapping. Place on an oiled sheet pan. If any cheese remains from earlier, feel free to sprinkle on top of the chicken.

Place in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and pancetta is crispy. Remove. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

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