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Tuck the flavor inside for moister chicken
June 30, 2015, 2:13 pm

Even the best chicken white-meat coming from breast and wings has two main drawbacks, both stemming from its low fat content: it is not particularly flavorful, and it dries out as you cook it. Grilling helps with the first problem by contributing smoky flavor and a nicely browned exterior, but unfortunately it makes the dryness problem even worse.

This problem is typically addressed by bathing the meat in an oil-based marinade before grilling, the idea being that this tenderizes the meat and seals in or even adds moisture. But not only does this take time, it also does not work: the meat absorbs none of that fat, and the olive-oil coating simply contributes to flare-ups and the likelihood of burning. Ironically, chicken skin is often removed, but it is a better ‘marinating’ agent than anything else.

The simplest way to keep breast meat moist and make it flavorful is to put fat and flavor inside — to stuff it. At its simplest, this means cutting a slit in chicken breasts and spreading a little butter or drizzling a little olive in the incision, an undemanding task that improves the meat’s flavor and texture immensely. When you mix the butter with fresh tarragon, basil, chives, roasted garlic or whatever other flavoring you like, you upgrade the results significantly. Here is a tasty chicken stuffed recipe.

Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This versatile stuffed chicken breast dish is easy enough for a weeknight supper but elegant enough for company.


1 large red bell pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp finely chopped pitted kalamata olives
1 tbsp minced fresh basil
8 x 130g boneless chicken breasts


Preheat broiler. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 15 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and finely chop. Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Combine bell pepper, cheese, olives, and basil. Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff 2 tablespoons bell pepper mixture into each pocket; close opening with a wooden pick. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from grill; cover loosely with foil, and let stand 10 minutes.

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