Stay Healthy Marinated Stuffed Pecan Crusted Chicken Breast

I absolutely loved creating this recipe and the BEST pounding the chicken breast and wrapping around the stuffing.  I simply cut large slits down the sides of each chicken breast to create a pocket, and shoved chopped apples and goat cheese in the center. Sealed with tooth picks....presto!!!  This is like kidding...and taste...absolutely fabulous. Usually, you will find lots of cracker crap, salt, enriched bread crumbs and other unhealthy items coating a stuffed chicken breast...but not this Stay Healthy version.  Enjoy the recipe and let me know what you think~ Stay Healthy!

2 b/s chicken breasts, marinated
Marinade (recipe follows)
1 apple, chopped
2 tbsp soft goat cheese
Pecan Coating (recipe follows)

Marinade for up to 4 chicken breasts:
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 to 3 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning (I also put in a sprig of fresh basil~optional)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or Regular Yellow Mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1/4 cup EV olive oil
1 to 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Put the vinegar, Italian seasoning, mustard, powders if using and oil in a large re-sealable plastic bag. Close the bag and shake to combine all the ingredients. Open the bag, drop in the chicken breast in the bag. Close and shake the bag to coat evenly. Marinade the chicken at least 2-4 hours.  Cooking tip: Marinade can be added to chicken and frozen for future use.

Moving on to the Chicken PreparationPreheat the oven to 350F.  Cut slits in the marinated chicken breast to create large pockets for stuffing.  Stuff each chicken breast with chopped apples and goat cheese.  Insert toothpicks to seal the chicken breast and hold the stuffing in place during cooking.  Set aside

Pecan Coating:
½ c. oat flour
1 c. course ground pecans
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional…but delish)
1/4 c. sesame seeds

Prepare a square baking dish rubbed with canola or olive oil (I love to use stone wear…it requires no oil prep). Combine flour, ground pecans, seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, peppers and sesame seeds in a large round bowl. Place sealed/stuffed marinated chicken breasts one at a time in pecan flour mixture, gently pressing the stuffed chicken until well coated on both sides. Place coated chicken breasts in dish and bake uncovered approx 25-45 min, depending on oven.  Chicken is done when the inside of the chicken is no longer pink.  My chicken cooked in 40 minutes and absolutely delicious!

Suggested side dish: Spinach Apple Cranberry Salad

original recipe created by Darla Leal, Stay Healthy Fitness 

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