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Recipe of the Week: Pancetta Wrapped Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Boursin Cheese


PHOTO PROVIDED Chef Loretta Paganini

When I was a young girl, my mother used to stuff chicken breasts with sausage filling and wrap them in pancetta, bake them and serve them to guests. This is my version of that great recipe. I stuff the chicken breasts with goat cheese and I grill them for extra flavor. Serves six. (Chef tip: Using a sharp knife, slice chicken breasts in half to create a packet and open like a book.)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped

8 ounces herb goat cheese

1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

6 chicken breasts halves, skinless and boneless, butterfly

12 thin slices of pancetta

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Lemon wedges, for garnish

Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic and parsley in a large baking dish, season with salt and pepper. Save 1/4 cup of the marinade for basting the chicken while cooking on the grill. Add the stuffed chicken to the marinade and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Preheat the grill to medium. Preheat the oven to 400F. Mix together the herb goat cheese and fresh bread crumbs and form into a log, place in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. Remove and slice. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade, blot off excess oil, and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Stuff chicken breasts with cheese mixture. Close pockets and wrap each breast with two slices of pancetta and tie with butcher string.

Place the chicken on the grill. Grill the chicken for eight to 10 minutes at medium heat, brush with reserve marinate, then turn chicken over, and continue cooking for eight to 10 minutes or until cooked through while brushing with reserve marinade. Remove from the grill and place in a baking dish and place in the oven. Check the temperature with an instant thermometer and when it reaches 165 degrees remove the chicken, brush with remaining marinade, remove the string and slice the breasts.

Serve with lemon wedges.