Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Lemon Basil Couscous

This meal reminded me of why I don’t regularly serve couscous to people who have not yet mastered the use of silverware.  Eeeks, there was so much couscous all over the floor that we immediately had to get out the vacuum.  Messiness aside, here’s the low down on the meal.  The chicken was delicious from this recipe; the couscous was a little bland and could have used something else.  I’m not sure what.  I don’t think I would make the couscous again – probably switch to something less messy like rice or pasta and top with basil and lemon.  If you come up with a good idea, let me know!  We had this with steamed green beans topped with a bit of garlic, butter, and slivered almonds.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Lemon Basil Couscous

4 chicken breasts
1/2 c. garlic herb cream cheese
1/4 c. jarred roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
8 basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Couscous Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 c. couscous
1 1/3 c. water
1 c. fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. lemon juice


Prepare Stuffed Breasts:

With a tip of a knife, cut each chicken breast from a long side, keeping knife parallel to surface of breast to form a deep pocket with as small of an opening as possible.  (I am not good at this so mine do not turn out quite as beautiful… a skill I should probably work on).

Rub the outside of the chicken with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine cheese, peppers, and basil. Spread 1/4 of the cheese mixture in each chicken breast.  Use a tooth pick to hold shut if necessary.

Place chicken on grill over medium heat and cook 12-15 minutes or until juices run clear.  (Mine were leaking stuffing all over the place before I even started cooking so I did them in a grilling pan covered in tin foil to save the grill from the mess.  That worked great too.)

Prepare Couscous:

In a 2 quart saucepan, heat oil, salt, pepper, and water to boiling.  Stir in couscous.  Cover saucepan; remove from heat and let stand at least 5 minutes.

Add basil and lemon juice to couscous just prior to serving.

Husband Rating: Darn, forgot to ask again… will get it next time.

Food for Thought: My friends and I did this recipe as a make-ahead one on our marinade night.  We mixed together the stuffing and each took our portion home and stuffed there.  After I stuffed the breasts, I placed them in a disposable foil pan and covered them with plastic wrap and tin foil and froze them.  Prior to cooking, I simply set them in the fridge to thaw.  It worked really well!


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