Aaah, summer. How I love the long, long days – days spent outside in the garden, nights spent on the patio with friends. These wonderful nights call for easy to prepare meals with the freshest local ingredients available as friends gather around the grill. These wonderful grilled stuffed chicken breasts are stuffed with a delightful combination of fresh bread, mortadella, garlic and a touch of nutmeg, then wrapped in a thin slice of pancetta to keep the chicken breast moist during grilling. They are simple and delicious. I served them with marinated grilled radicchio and grilled polenta. A simple yet delicious meal for that perfect evening outside with good friends…..enjoy.
Grilled Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Grilled Radicchio
6 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 loaf of Italian bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces (should yield about 3 cups or so)
4 ounces of mortadella, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Freshly ground pepper
6 slices of pancetta, thinly sliced
1 head fresh radicchio
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Freshly ground pepper
1. Place each chicken breast between 2 pieces of wax paper and flatten with a mallet. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the torn bread, mortadella, garlic, parsley and nutmeg. Add the lightly beaten egg. Mix well.
3. Divide the stuffing among the chicken breasts. Starting at one end, roll up the chicken breasts. Wrap each in one slice of pancetta. Secure with toothpicks. Be sure to secure the ends of the pancetta so it does not fall off when grilling.
4. Drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil.
5. Prepare the radicchio: In a bowl large enough to hold the radicchio, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and freshly ground pepper.
6. Remove any damaged leaves from the outside of the head of radicchio. Cut the head into 4 quarters being sure to leave the core intact on each quarter. Place the quarters in the marinade and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes, turning occassionally.
7. Preheat the grill – medium-high heat.
8. Drain the radicchio. Reserve marinade.
9. Place the chicken breasts and radicchio on the grill. Turn the chicken breasts occassionally until golden brown and cooked through – about 20-25 minutes. Grill the radicchio until wilted – about 15 minutes. Baste with the marinade as grilling.