- 2 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (10-12 oz total)
- 1/4 tsp of ground black pepper (fresh if you have it)
- 1/8 tsp of salt
- 3 tbsp Swiss cheese (shredded)
- 1 tbsp reduced fat cream cheese
- 2 tbsp whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tsp of extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped deli ham (1/2 oz)
1. Preheat oven to 400°
2. In one bowl combine Swiss cheese and cream cheese
3. In another bowl combine 1/8 tsp of pepper, breadcrumbs, parsley, and 1 tsp of olive oil
4. Coat chicken with 1/8 tsp of salt and remaining 1/8 tsp of pepper
5. Heat remaining 1 tsp of olive oil in a medium, ovenproof, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until browned on both sides, (about 2 minutes per side.) Remove from heat.
6. Move chicken to center of the pan, spread with cheese mixture, top with ham, and finally top with the breadcrumb mixture.
7. Bake chicken until the center is no longer pink and a digital thermometer reads 165° (5-7 minutes)
Tips, Tricks, and Mishaps:
- When using frozen chicken breasts dethaw them properly for the best results. I put mine in a plastic Ziplock bag and left them in the fridge in some chicken broth for several hours until they were tender. Using a microwave tends to dry out meat and particularly chicken in my experience. Give it time to mellow on its own! I promise it will be worth it.
- I used panko instead of whole wheat breadcrumbs as I didn't have any. (Oops.) It didn't make a bit of difference to me. Don't be afraid to make your own breadcrumbs either - that's part of the fun, just more time consuming.
- I left out the extra-virgin olive oil in the breadcrumb mixture, I completely forgot. Just to make it a little more healthy. It didn't make one bit of a difference.
- When shredding your own Swiss cheese, put it in the freezer for awhile beforehand. Swiss is a soft cheese and this little trick makes it much easier and less likely to break.
- I do not have a nonstick skillet that is oven capable. I simply sprayed a baking pan with some nonstick spray and transferred the chicken after the browning was complete.
- As in many cases, I found the cooking time to be really off with this recipe. It always depends on chicken thickness, proper oven temperature, etc. The best and only advice I can give is: Use a digital thermometer often. For best results don't cook the chicken much over 165° If you are following the thermometer directions, there is just no reason to dry out your chicken by overcooking it! If you find the top of the chicken browning too quickly in the oven, cover it with foil until the inside temperature reaches it's destination. Also, the photo above was taken after the browning but before the baking, everything will much more golden when complete.
I always struggle with finding recipes for two people that are healthy as well as delicious. This is definitely one. With just 280 calories per serving it's hard to go wrong. (Otherwise known as getting super-huge.) Not to mention, it's quick and easy to make. Good luck, and happy cooking!