Croutons Deliver a “Devilish” Twist on Spring Chicken

Wheat Foods Council

We all love chicken – in fact, Americans buy more chicken than any other food for the center of the plate.  So if you’re looking to add a new twist to a tried and true favorite, look no further than our “Deviled Chicken Breasts with Mushroom and Bacon Dressing.”

At only 250 calories and 15 grams of fat per serving, it is rich in flavor, without the guilt.  The “secret” ingredient is the seasoned croutons, which are mixed with sautéed onion, garlic, bacon and low-sodium chicken broth, then tucked into a pocket in the chicken breast and baked to a tender perfection.  The recipe calls for pre-made croutons for ease of preparation but feel free to substitute homemade if desired.

This recipe can dress up or down – from a special occasion, to a healthy and easy week night meal.  Pair it with a crisp salad and some grilled asparagus and savor the flavor!

Serves 6
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, divided into 6 halves
3 cups seasoned croutons (1 5-ounce bag), divided
4 strips bacon, diced
½ medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces fresh or canned mushrooms (white, wild, or mixed), diced
2 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chopped parsley, optional

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Set a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add the bacon, onion and garlic. Cook until the bacon is crispy and the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Break 1 ½ cups croutons into smaller pieces and stir them into the mushroom mixture. Add 1 ½ cups broth, fold it in and remove from stove. Season generously with pepper.
Crush the remaining 1 ½ cups croutons into crumbs in the food processor or blender, or by putting them into a zipper-seal bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.

Cut a wide slit crosswise in the side of each chicken breast to make a big pocket, being careful not to slice the breasts in half. Divide the crouton mixture among the chicken breasts, pushing it into the pockets. Brush the chicken breasts with mustard. Set the chicken breasts in the (unwashed) skillet and sprinkle them with the crumbs. Roast in the oven for 16-18 minutes (depending on thickness), until they are cooked through.

Set each of the chicken breasts on a plate. Add the remaining ½ cup chicken broth and the butter to the skillet. Warm over medium heat, stirring. Spoon a little of the pan mixture around each chicken breast, sprinkle with chopped parsley, if using, and serve.

Approximate nutritional value per serving:
250 calories; 15 g total fat; 6 g saturated fat; 25 mg cholesterol; 810 mg sodium; 19 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 8 g protein; 39 mcg DFE (folate).