Friday, July 29, 2011

Crab-Stuffed Chicken Thighs with Pesto Alfredo Sauce

Justin's cousin Mike was visiting us from St. Louis and we'd had all these amazing things we wanted to cook for him, but it was his first visit to Northern California and we stayed busy (and lazy and purple hazy) and hadn't made anything after several days into his visit.  So I brainstormed some things I'd been craving and was originally going to make stuffed chicken breasts with a pesto ricotta, cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and olives.  Then Mike kindly reminded me how his mother's side of the family was Italian and his mom could make some mean Italian food.  I'm going to admit it... I chickened out of the challenge, at least part of the way.  What if after all the recipes he's seen, I try to make something "Italian", but really it comes off as a pathetic botched American version?!  Could I stand for him to go back to St. Louis and tell his mom?!  I wasn't sure.  So I compromised and changed it up to a little coastal crab stuffing!  Something he wouldn't get a lot of in the midwest, so it'd be both appropriate for his visit and it'd be something I'd been wanting to make for a while (crab stuffing).  But I was bound and determined to show him that I wasn't too much of a slouch in the ethnic cooking arena, and I kept the Pesto-Alfredo sauce.

Didn't take too long to cook for as "fancy" as it might have sounded, and it was delicious!  And we ate the hell out of it!  Oh!  And got some crab cakes out of it, too, the next night!  Sadly, we were too busy enjoying our company and food to take some nicer plated pictures.  :)

I don't even remember what we were listening to when we made this.  But I love the band Against Me!, and this song is so great, albeit the acoustic version.  No matter how many times I hear this line, "...and we'll dance like no one was watching... with one fist in the air," I get chills.  Actually the whole damn song gives me chills.  Though I'm still trying to get behind their more recent sound, I really love their earlier years.  Good band.  Good song.  Good food.  -jen

  • 8-10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shallots, diced fine
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced fine
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, diced fine
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound crab meat 
  • 3/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1.5 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet,  heat olive oil on a medium-high heat.  Add shallots, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, thyme, and Italian seasoning.  Cook until shallots and mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and crab meat and cook for another 3 minutes.  Turn off heat and stir in bread crumbs and cheeses.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Set aside.

Place chicken thighs between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound until 1/4" thick.  Place 1/4-1/3 cup stuffing into each thigh and fold over like a taco.  Place in a lightly oiled baking dish and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

  • 12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) butter
  • 1/3 cup shallots, diced finely
  • 2.5 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, finely shredded
  • 3 heaping tablespoons pesto
In a medium-sized sauce pan, melt butter on medium-high heat.  Add shallots and cook for 3-5 minutes, until tender.  Add heavy cream and bring to a boil.  Turn heat to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until cream becomes to thicken. Add a small handful of the cheeses and stir until cheese is entirely blended in before adding another small handful.  Continue until all the cheese is incorporated.  Then stir in the pesto and remove from heat.

No comments:

Post a Comment