Avocado and Sweet Pepper Stuffed Chicken

 

Avocado and Sweet Pepper Stuffed Chicken is simple to make and easy to alter with other fillings, spices and herbs.

Normally, I keep things simple for myself and will bake a couple thighs for dinner, so it is good to cook for others once in a while and get creative and this is a great dish for a dinner party.

Lately, chicken breasts have been pretty cheap so that was what we decided on. There also were some great avocados that were ripe to the point of just starting to soften up and I had a half bag of sweet, mini peppers. It made the decision: avocado and sweet pepper stuffed chicken.

“Let your taste buds pick some of the ingredients.”

This recipe is simple to make and easy to alter with other fillings, spices and herbs. I like a little heat with it; you can adjust this to your own preference. I also use cumin and a small amount of chipotle powder for season. You can also use poultry seasoning, rosemary and sweet basil. Let your imagination and your taste buds pick some of the ingredients and enjoy.

Avocado and Sweet Pepper Stuffed Chicken
with Ginger Lime Cream Sauce
4 chicken breasts, skin on
2 avocados, chopped
½ red onion, small-medium diced
1 red pepper, small-medium, diced (can use ½ red and ½ yellow or 6 assorted red, yellow and orange mini peppers)
1 T butter
1 jalapeño, fine diced
1 clove garlic, fine diced
½ t Worcestershire sauce
½ t lime juice, to taste
½ t nutmeg
½ t chili paste (optional)
1 T cilantro, chopped
Cumin and chipotle powder for seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Ginger Lime Cream Sauce
2 oz. white wine
1 shallot, fine diced
1½ T fresh ginger, fine diced
1 C heavy cream
2 T grated parmesan cheese (optional)
1 T cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

First, make the filling. Sauté the onions on medium-high heat until they start to soften. Add the peppers, garlic and jalapeños and let them sweat a little. Season with Worcestershire sauce, nutmeg, lime juice, chili paste, if wanted, and salt and pepper to taste. Start small with these ingredients. You want only a hint of the flavors and not to overpower the avocado.

Remove from the heat. Add the cilantro and set aside to cool. Slice a pocket into the thickest side of the chicken from the thinner side to the outside edge of the thicker side. If the tenderloin is still on, pull it back out of the way leaving it attached.

Fill the pocket and pull the tenderloin back to cover the pocket opening. You can use butcher’s twine to help keep the pocket closed or handle it gently when placing it in the pan and when flipping. Pull the skin back and season with salt, pepper, cumin and a chipotle powder and replace the skin. The skin will help retain the moisture.

Brown skin side first on top of the stove, flip and finish in the oven at 350 F degrees. Remove the chicken from pan and let it rest.

To make the sauce, place a pan on the stove and add the shallots, ginger and wine and let reduce using a wooden spoon to loosen all the chicken drippings until it is like a paste. Add the cream and reduce until it starts to thicken. Melt in the cheese to thicken more. Add the lime, salt and pepper to taste. Add the cilantro. Slice the chicken and serve with the sauce.

Smitty is a personal chef specializing in dinner parties, cooking classes and special events. Trained under Master Chef Anton Flory at Top Notch Resort in Stowe, Vt., Smitty is known for his creative use of fresh ingredients. Contact him at tmmsmitty@gmail.com or (530) 412-3598. To read archived copies of Smitty’s column, visit chefsmitty.com or TheTahoeWeekly.com. Click on Chef’s Recipe under the Local Flavor tab.

Try more chicken recipes from Chef Smitty.