When you don't have time to roast a whole stuffed chicken – or when it's too hot to turn on the oven – serve these plump chicken breasts filled with a creamy, lemon-scented pistachio stuffing. To serve, cut the stuffed breasts crosswise, arrange the slices on plates and drizzle with the sauce from the pan.
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, about 750 g in total
1?3 cup (90 g) cream cheese
4 tablespoons shredded fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3?4 teaspoon salt
1?3 cup (50 g) shelled pistachios
2 tablespoons dry packaged breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1?4 cup (35 g) plain flour
1 cup (250 ml) salt-reduced chicken stock
1?4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
With a sharp paring knife, make a pocket in each chicken breast half. To do this, cut a horizontal slit in the fatter side of a chicken breast, stopping 1 cm short of either end. Insert the blade into the slit and, with a back and forth swivelling motion, cut a pocket in the breast, without cutting through the opposite side. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
In a food processor or blender, purée the cream cheese, basil, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt until smooth. Add pistachios and breadcrumbs and process until roughly chopped.
Sprinkle the remaining salt inside the chicken breast pockets and on the outsides of breasts. Spoon pistachio mixture into the pockets and secure with toothpicks.
In a large non-stick frying pan, heat oil over medium heat.
Dredge chicken in the flour, shaking off excess. Add chicken to pan and fry for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and almost cooked through, turning chicken over as it colours. Add stock and lemon juice to pan and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 7 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove toothpicks from chicken. Serve chicken with sauce spooned on top.
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