This dish of chicken stuffed with mushroom and bacon is easy enough to make for a weeknight meal yet good-looking enough to pull out for your next dinner party served with some Potato Gratin with Chèvre or a Green Bean Salad.
Game plan: Make the bacon easier to dice by placing it in the freezer 10 to 20 minutes before cutting.
This recipe can be made through step 4, tightly covered, and refrigerated overnight. Just bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking it.
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice
4 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and cut into small dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh sage, minced
1 cup dry white wine
2 (10-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
Heat the oven to 350˚F and arrange a rack in the middle. Heat a large, ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat and add bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crisp and browned, about 6 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside.
Return the pan with bacon drippings to medium-high heat and add onion. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and herbs and season again with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the wine and cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat to cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare chicken breasts.
Cut each breast in half horizontally. Place breasts on a cutting board in a resealable plastic bag or between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a mallet or the bottom of a pan, pound chicken pieces to an even thickness, about 1/4 inch thick. Season chicken all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Lay chicken breasts on a cutting board so the narrow end faces you. Stir reserved bacon into mushroom mixture and place 1/4 of the mixture halfway up each chicken piece. Fold the bottom piece of chicken up over the filling to enclose it, then roll into a tight cylinder and use toothpicks to secure the roll. Repeat with remaining chicken and filling.
Heat the large ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Once the oil shimmers, place chicken in the pan seam side down and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over, then transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the filling is warm and the interior of the chicken is white but still juicy, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove chicken to a clean plate and cover with foil. Place the pan over medium-high heat, add remaining 1/2 cup wine and broth, and scrape up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan (be careful, the handle of the pan will be very hot). Cook over medium-high heat until the alcohol has evaporated and the sauce is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.
Beverage pairing:Qupé Santa Ynez Valley Marsanne, California. Marsanne is an earthy, round white wine that doesn’t make a big deal of itself but is a wonderful complement to a great many things. Qupé’s version is classic and direct, with the correct floral, peach, and mineral notes. It’s a subtle wine, but will be a great backup to this simple, fully flavored dish.