Grilled Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Prosciutto and Fontina

I think my winter doldrums may finally be gone; I suddenly have the urge to cook, cook, cook. Four new recipes this week (which I will post over the next few days).  A sunny 65-degree on Thursday evening had me yearning to fire up my barbecue, so I found this recipe for Charcoal-Grilled Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Prosciutto and Fontina. While I’ve been stuffing my chicken breasts for years, the ability to do so on the BBQ is new. Overall, the results were fantastic; flavorful, well-balanced taste with minimal effort and clean-up. 4-stars.

Stuffing that isnt overpowered by the smokey flavor.

Instead of butterflying and stuffing the chicken (like here and here), I cut pockets in the chicken breasts in which I stuffed the prosciutto wrapped cheese bundle. This meant that I only had one side to try to seal up, resulting in fewer leaks; much better than the regular butterflying method. For this recipe, Chris Kimball chose Fontina because it’s slightly tangy, nutty flavor complemented the smokey flavor from the grill. Today I used fontina, but still it was quite mild. Next time I’d like to try some Jarlsberg, because it has a little more nutty flavor, it goes on sale for $5/lb (compared to the $10/lb I spent on the Fontina), and I love to munch on the extra Jarlsberg. But Chris Kimball is right; the fontina will melt better.

Comments:

  1. Chris Kimball has a bunch of different variations of this recipe. I’d also like to try the Salami with Mozzarella.
  2. This recipe comes with a new knot. But it left the chicken bundles very loose. So I gave up and went to a regular old double-knot.

Rating: 4-stars.
Cost: $7.
How much work? Low/Medium.
How big of a mess?  Low.
Start time 6:00 PM. Ready at 7:45 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original charcoal grill version is here .  My descriptions of how I cooked it it today are given below:

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
Table salt
Vegetable oil for cooking grate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot
4 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 ounces fontina cheese ,
4 slices prosciutto (about 2 ounces)
Ground black pepper

  1. Remove butter from refrigerator and allow to soften on the counter-top. Trim and access fat or skin from the chicken breasts.
  2. Cut a pocket in each breast. Start on the thicker-side of the chicken, slicing hortizontally leaving a 1/2″ attached to hold the butter and melting cheese.
  3. In a medium bowl, dissolve 3 tablespoons of table salt in 1 quart of cold water. Brin the chicekn breasts in refrigerator for 30 minutes; covered with plastic wrap.
  4. Light a full chimney starter of charcoal (roughly 100 briquettes), allowing about 25-minutes for the coals to fully ignite. Dump coals over half of grill, leaving the other half empty to form two distinct heating zones. Replace cooking grate, clean, and then season the grate by dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; then use tons to wipe grate with oil.
  5. With the charcoal starts, remove the rind from the Fontina and cut into four 3″x1/2″ sticks. Roll each stick cheese with a slice prosciutto.
  6. Mince your shallot (you should have about 3 tablespoons) and chop your tarragon; add to small bowl, the add softened butter; mix.
  7. Remove the chicken breasts from the brine, and dry the inside and the outside using paper towels. Sprinkle with ground pepper.
  8. Spread 1/4 of the butter mixture inside the pocket of each breast. Put prosciutto-wrapped cheese inside each breast and fold over to enclose. Wrap with three 12″ pieces of kitchen twine. Tie using a simple double-know, then trim away any excess twine.
  9. Start grilling the chicken, skin side down, over the hot side of grill. Cook for 5 minutes, then flip a cook the other wide until it is slightly browned; about 4 minutes.  Finish cooking the chicken on the cool side of grill (position so that the thicker end of the chicken is closer to the fire. Cover and cook for 25 more minutes. The internal temperature of the chicken from be 165 degrees.
  10. Tent with foil on carving board; and let rest for 10 minutes.
  11. Cut away twine. Carve breast meat away from bone using a boning knife to follow the contour of the bone. Slice into 1/2″ slices and serve.
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4 Responses to Grilled Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Prosciutto and Fontina

  1. Jenny says:

    Thanks for blogging! I always enjoy reading what goes on in your kitchen.

    I also made this recipe tonight, although it was 40 degrees out so I modified it and made it inside.

    My modifications: First, I browned it, breast side down, in a heat proof pan over med-high heat. Then, I flipped it, put the pan in a 350 degree oven, and cooked until 160 internal temp.

    Now, this chicken was tasty and tender. Did I have the oozy gooey cheesy center? No. But it was still really good. I am envious of your melty cheese picture. Don’t know if it overcooked (it’s possible; my thermometer seemed off and I might have been distracted by wine) or if the pockets weren’t secure enough. Regardless, it was delicious, served with sauteed garlicy spinach and orzo with lemon/cukes/toms/feta. Gonna make again soon! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Valerie Munson-Drohobycky says:

    This looks delicious

  3. Dan says:

    The chicken breasts in your picture are neither bone-in, nor skin-on or even breaded! Seriously?!

    • Hi Dan, the idea behind this recipe is that bone helps protect the chicken from overcooking so that it stays moist, but then calls to cut it off the bone before serving, I assure you that’s skin in the photo, but you are correct that no there is no breading.

      Mark

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