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Dried Apricot Ham And Leek Stuffed Chicken Breasts

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Ingredients
  Boneless chicken breast halves 8 Large
  Orange juice 1 1⁄2 Cup (24 tbs)
  Chicken broth 1 Cup (16 tbs)
  Dry vermouth/Dry white wine 1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs) (Imported)
  Soy sauce 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Dijon mustard 2 Tablespoon
  Honey 1 Tablespoon
  Dried apricots 1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs) (About 10 Pieces)
  Golden raisins 2 Tablespoon
  Leeks 3 Medium, cleaned and thickly sliced
  Lean smoked ham/Canadian bacon 4 Ounce, cut into 1 inch pieces to make about 1 cup
  Olive oil 2 Tablespoon
  Bread crumbs 1⁄3 Cup (5.33 tbs), toasted (Egg / Italian)
  Chopped shelled pistachios/Hazelnuts / almonds 3 Ounce, toasted (3/4 Cup)
  Bread crumbs 1 1⁄4 Cup (20 tbs), toasted (Egg / Italian)
  Heavy cream 1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)
  Cornstarch 4 Teaspoon
  Non stick cooking spray 1
  Apricot roses 4 (For Garnish)
  Parsley/Garden leaves / watercress 4 (For Garnish)
  Salt To Taste
  Pepper To Taste
Directions

To Prepare Chicken: Cut off all fat from chicken.
Cut a pocket horizontally into each breast by holding the knife parallel to the counter and cutting back as far as possible without cutting in half.
Leave a small edge uncut on 3 sides.
Place in shallow glass casserole or large plastic zipper bag.
To Marinate: Whisk all marinade ingredients in a medium bowl.
Pour 1 1/4 cups over chicken, turning to coat all surfaces.
Refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours, turning occasionally.
Refrigerate remaining marinade.
To Make Stuffing: In a food processor with the metal blade, pulse apricots until coarsely chopped.
Add raisins, leeks, and ham and pulse until diced into 1/4-inch pieces.
In a large skillet, preferably nonstick, heat olive oil over moderate heat.
Add apricot mixture and bread crumbs and saute until leeks are soft and mixture is lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
Stir in 2 tablespoons reserved marinade.
Cool. (Stuffing may be refrigerated overnight.) Remove chicken from marinade; do not dry.
Discard marinade.
Fill each pocket with about 2 tablespoons stuffing.
Press edges to close.
To Make Crust: In a pie plate or other shallow dish, stir together nuts and bread crumbs.
Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
Dip both sides into crumbs, pressing to adhere.
Place at least 1 inch apart on greased or foil-lined and greased baking sheet.
Refrigerate until ready to bake.
(Chicken may be refrigerated overnight or frozen up to 2 weeks.
Freeze on baking sheet until firm and then transfer to a plastic freezer bag or wrap in heavy-duty foil.
Return to baking sheet and defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
Refrigerate or freeze reserved crumbs.) To Make Sauce: Pour reserved marinade into a small saucepan.
Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from heat.
In a small bowl, stir cream and cornstarch together.
Whisk into sauce.
Return to heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
(Sauce may be refrigerated overnight or frozen.
Reheat before serving.
If too thick, thin with orange juice, broth, or wine.) To Bake: Place oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 450°F.
Sprinkle tops of breasts with remaining crumbs and spray with no-stick cooking spray.
Bake chilled breasts for 12 to 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Remove to plates, drizzle with sauce, and pass remaining sauce.
If desired, garnish with apricot roses and leaves or greens.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Easy
Cuisine: 
American
Method: 
Baked
Ingredient: 
Chicken
Interest: 
Everyday

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