Saturday, April 2, 2011

Stuffed Cranberry-Orange Chicken

This was kind of one of those nights where, I was looking between the fridge, pantry and freezer and trying to figure out what I could come up with.  This is a recipe that I made up, it is similar to an apple stuffed pork chop recipe we make and enjoy.   I knew Kent was working until dark, so I figured I had time to experiment (play), although it really didn't take very long to make, once I had a plan.  

In the ingredients, you will see a bottle of olive oil.  This is by far one of my favorite things to cook with.  When we vacationed in San Francisco, we drove about an hour north and went to a winery/olive orchard called B.R. Cohn.  

We went for the wine tasting and ended up falling in love with the different olive oils (and vinegars; Kent likes vinegar, I don't).  You can find the olive oils and vinegars in small gourmet type grocery stores or you can order them online at The flavors we like best are: Meyer Lemon, Blood Orange and Basil Garlic, they are great for dipping bread, sauteing vegetables, marinating or just substituting for plain olive oil.   

The people were very friendly and they said if you call and place an order of 6 or more bottles, they will give you a discount.  The olive oils also made great gifts, especially paired with one of their vinegars.  One of my goals in the future is to try and duplicate their olive oils, we will see if it happens.  

If you ever get the chance, I would definitely recommend going to wine country, even if you do not like wine, it is beautiful! 

Here is what you will need:

8chicken breast tenders (you can use 4 breasts if you would like)
1Box cranberry stuffing mix (if you don't have cranberry, you could use plain and add Craisins or even apples)
Cups water
¼Cup orange juice (Florida's Natural, again the only OJ you should ever buy!)
2Tablespoons olive oil, plus a little for drizzling
Zest of an orange
¼Cup pecans (optional, it's delicious and make sure they're Oklahoma pecans too!)
Cream Sauce:
(optional, the chicken would be just as good with balsamic drizzled on top, or even plain, but I like the cream sauce)
Juice and zest of an orange
¼Cup orange juice
2Tablespoons Orange Marmalade
Handful of craisins
¼Cup heavy whipping cream
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Pound out chicken using a meat tendorizer, or something hard such as the bottom of a pan. Tenders should be thin and flat, ⅛-¼ of an inch, but be careful not to get them too thin or make holes in them. I always put plastic wrap over anything when I tenderize it, because you do not want raw splatter all over your kitchen.  
Put water, orange juice and olive oil in a sauce pan and let come to a boil. Pour in stuffing mix. Let liquids dissolve in stuffing. Turn burner off. Add orange zest and pecans (if you are using) and fold into stuffing. 
Let stuffing cool a little, so you can use your hands.
Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease a casserole dish (I used my 9 X 13 inch stone) to put the chicken in once rolled.
Put a spoonful of stuffing on top of chicken tender, toward the middle. Start at one end and roll stuffing up inside chicken. 
Place chicken in dish with the sides out. It is okay if the stuffing looks like it is going to fall out, it will stay. 
Once all the tenders have been rolled up, sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil. I then added the left over stuffing on top of the chicken.
 Cover with foil and bake 25-30 minutes or until chicken is done.  Let chicken set, covered for 10 minutes after pulling it out of the oven.
While waiting on chicken to set, place juice from the orange, orange juice, marmalade, salt, pepper and craisins in a small sauce pan. Let come to a boil. Add heavy cream. Let simmer, sauce will thicken a little. Taste the sauce and add ingredients as desired.
Drizzle on top of chicken.
I was surprised how delicious this recipe turned out.  It was just as good served as leftovers the next day for lunch.  

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