Let's make a pledge to just say "no" to boring baked chicken, shall we? While they're easy and fuss-free, plain ol' boneless, skinless chicken breasts need a little help in the flavor department in order to take dinnertime from a potential snooze-fest to a lip-smacking, plate-licking event. Bring in meaty mushrooms, smokey gruyere cheese and a simple stuffing technique to take classic baked chicken to elegant heights in fewer than five steps. Totally guest-worthy, yet easy enough for a weeknight supper, these mushroom and gruyere hasselback chicken breasts are sure to win hearts at the dinner table.
Prepare the Mushrooms
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium-size pan. Add the mushrooms and toss them in the oil. Season them with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and cook them for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Add the garlic and the wine. Let the wine bubble up and, using a spatula or wooden spoon, scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook the mushrooms for another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mushrooms cool for a few minutes.
Always cook with wine you like to drink. For this recipe a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay will work well. It doesn't need to be expensive!
Once the mushrooms have cooled for a few minutes, finely chop them.
Make the Mushroom and Gruyere Cheese Filling
Combine the chopped mushrooms, bread crumbs, chopped thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and cheese together in a bowl.
Look for smoked gruyere cheese in the specialty cheese section at the grocery store. Can't find it? Regular gruyere cheese will work well, too.
Slice and Stuff the Chicken
Cut slits about 3/4 of the way through each chicken breast, and about 1-inch apart.
Fill the slits with the mushroom filling, and spread the excess filling across the top of each chicken breast.
Bake the Chicken and Serve
Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake the chicken at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 60 minutes. In the last ten minutes, remove the foil. The chicken is done when the internal temperature of each chicken breasts reads 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.