Oven Baked Pancetta and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

Pancetta and Cheese Chicken

1/4 cup Swiss, Monterey Jack or part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons Pancetta (Italian bacon) or ham, chopped
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (1-1 1/4 pounds total)
1 egg white
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Use a baking sheet with sides and lightly coat it with cooking spray.

Mix cheese, Pancetta/ham, mustard and pepper in a small bowl.

Cut a horizontal slit along the thin, long edge of a chicken breast half, nearly through to the opposite side. Open up the breast and place one-fourth of the filling in the center. Close the breast over the filling, pressing the edges firmly together to seal. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts and filling.

Lightly beat egg white with a fork in a medium bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow glass dish. Hold each chicken breast half together and dip in egg white, then dredge in breadcrumbs. (Discard leftovers.)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts; cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Place the chicken, browned-side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink in the center or until an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F, about 20 minutes.

Tonight, I’m serving with Jasmine rice, asparagus, garden salad and fresh fruit compote.

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