This is a lovely and yet simply easy recipe to prepare, which I had been given in Genoa, Liguria years back.
BASIL STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS
By: Margaux Cintrano.
6 slices of turkey bacon ( or pork bacon if you prefer ) or pancetta
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh basil herb
Freshly grated Pecorino Sardo or Reggiano Parmesano
1/4 cup Evoo
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
salt to taste
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts: With a 1-Inch horizontal incision in each piece ( my Butcher does it )
freshly ground rose, green and black pepper
1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs and herb seasoned
herb seasoning for breadcrumbs: dried basil, parsley, oregano & thyme
2 tblsps unsalted butter
2 tblsps Evoo ( 100% Hojiblanca Olive Mono Varietal if possible for lightness )
1) in large skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp 5 minutes
2) drain oil and coarsely chop
3) IN FOOD PROCESSOR: purée bacon, basil, garlic and Grated Pecorino or Parmesano to a paste
4) with machine on, add the Evoo very very slowly and gradually in thin stream
5) transfer the stuffing mixture ( the paste ) to a bowl
6) stir in the lemon juice and season with salt
7) spoon One tablespoon of the basil Mixture into each pocket and press gently to close the pocket
8) season chicken on both sides, with salt and pepper
9) put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in 3 separate bowls
10) lightly flour the chicken pieces and shake off excess and then into the egg and coat with seasoned bread crumbs
11) in large skillet: melt 1 tblsp butter in 1 tblsp Evoo
12) add the chicken pieces and cook over moderately medium heat for approx. 5 minutes per side.
SERVE WITH: an Italian Rosé or Lambrusco and crusty warm bread, and extra freshly grated Pecorino ... And a side Arugula / Rocket or spinach salad and / or a ribbon pasta, with homemade pesto.