I only had time to marinate for about 30 minutes before it was time to cook, and my dish still came out tasting great. If you have more time to marinate, please do! On the left, you see the simple marinade ingredients. I throw my chicken breasts into a big ziplock bag, add a big glug of olive oil, squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon in there, toss in some fresh rosemary and fresh thyme, and a good sprinkle of salt and pepper. Squeeze out the excess air, zip it up, squish it all around, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
Step 2: Get your stuffing ingredients ready
The items on the plate are going IN the chicken; nice big fresh basil leaves, sundried tomatoes and goat cheese. Next to the plate, you see the thinly sliced pancetta I'm going to wrap around the OUTSIDE of the chicken and the toothpicks I'll need to hold it all together.
1) Using a sharp knife, cut a "pocket" into each chicken breast. Notice how I try to keep my opening somewhat small, while using the tip of my knife to create a bigger pocket on the inside. (This is my effort to not let all the ooey-gooey cheese escape :)
2) Stuff one large basil leaf, two pieces of sundried tomato and a wad-o-goat cheese in each pocket. Yes, your fingers will get quite messy at this stage. Take a peek inside my chicken :)
3) In my continuing effort to not let my cheese escape, I place a pancetta slice directly on top of the pocket opening, then use another slice to cover the other half of the chicken breast. I use two toothpicks to hold it all together. (Use more toothpicks if you need to!)
Time to Grill!1) This is where the husband comes in handy. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I don't grill. I hand him the prepped chicken, and in a short time........ta-dah! My chicken is cooked! It's like magic. It's all crispy on the outside, and smelling lemony and bacony. Can't wait to dig in.
2) Okay, I dug in. See what's waiting for you inside?! Creamy cheesiness! And look....the hubby grilled some zukes too.
3) Go ahead. Take a bite. You get crispy bacon, creamy cheese, intense tomato, bright lemon, savory herbs all in one bite. The marinating keeps the chicken nice and moist. Delicious. Really. Buon Appetito!
4) Wine note: Lots of people prefer white wine with chicken, but since this chicken has tomatoes and cheese, I prefer a red with it. We had a chianti classico from Vignavecchia.