These Gluten Free Sundried Tomato and Basil Stuffed Chicken Breasts make a flavorful fancy dinner for any day of the week. Top it off with some basil cream sauce and crumbled bacon for even more flavor.
Not the countdown to Christmas. That started December 26th of last year; pretty much the second Christmas ended. I just LOVE Christmas!
But the countdown that I’m talking about is the Goggins Hawaii Christmas Shabang 2015! (Wow, that was really weird to write my maiden name. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that.)
Yep, my entire family is coming to visit for Christmas and I coudn’t be more excited. It’s true that distance makes the heart grow fonder. It’s only been since the beginning of September, for my brother’s wedding, that I last saw my family. But, there is something about an ocean of separation that makes time away from your family tick that much slower.
The second we found out we were moving to Hawaii, my family immediately started scheming a Hawaiian Christmas vacation. I may have felt a little used at first; they were all joyously celebrating a reason to travel to paradise, while I was frantically figuring out how I was supposed to sell our brand new home and get a house full of furniture to Hawaii. But now that the utter shock of moving to an island has worn off, I’m more than ready for that crazy gang to fly out here and use us and abuse us as their own personal tour guides.
Ever since Thanksgiving I’ve been texting my parents photos of holiday food I’ve been making. Partly to make them jealous they weren’t here for Thanksgiving, but also to get them excited for all the wonderful food I will be making them when they come.
My older brother keeps harassing me about trying out all the local cuisine in town so they know where to eat the best food while they are here.
Uh, first of all…we’re poor. We live in Hawaii. Rarely do we go out to eat. And when we do go out to eat, it’s a headache trying to find a place that is gluten-free friendly for Braelyn. We’ve been a few places that are repeat worthy, but our experience out on the town is very limited.
AND second…HELLO!!! The best food you’re going to get in Hawaii is right in your little sister’s kitchen. DUH!
That may be a bit pretentious of me to say, but I gotta have some confidence in my cooking being a food blogger, right?
And when I’m whipping up meals like this Gluten Free Sundried Tomato and Basil Stuffed Chicken, you really won’t want to go anywhere else to eat. Five star dining on me!
We have some amazing landlords living here on the island. They are so attentive to any and all of our needs and have really taken pride in providing us with a great rental. They have also become good friends of ours. They have invited us to their house to swim, we’ve gone to their neighborhood block party, and we went trick-or-treating with them Halloween night.
It was definitely my turn to return the hospitality. So we invited them over to technically “their house” for dinner. Haha!
I made these stuffed chicken breasts and they turned out amazing! Not only were they super tender (score!) but the FLAVOR!!! Oh, the flavor was spot on.
Basically I pounded down some chicken breasts (which is always a great way to release some frustration), seasoned them with salt, pepper, and garlic, and stuffed them silly with Havarti cheese, fresh basil leaves, and sundried tomatoes.
But to make these golden nuggets of chicken even better was pan searing them in a little butter until the outside was golden brown. Once you get a nice crust on the chicken breasts, you can toss them in the oven to finish cooking. Glorious flavor right there!
And you really don’t want to skip this step of pan frying because you are going to use those pan drippings to make this insanely creamy and slightly tangy white wine vinegar basil cream sauce. It’s killer. Again, use fresh basil if you have it on hand. It really intensifies the flavor of this sauce.
Now if you’re not already drooling over the thought of one of these stuffed chicken breasts, I just decided to go all out and top these suckers with some crumbled bacon. Food coma right there!
You guys, I just can’t tell you how amazing all the components of this dish are. I mean perfectly seasoned chicken filled with gooey cheese, tart sundried tomatoes, and earthy basil all covered in a super creamy sauce and topped with crispy pieces of bacon??? Does it get much better? N-O!
Someone just pave me a parking lot and get me a food handler’s permit because if you really want a great restaurant here in Hawaii, it’s right at my doorstep.
What are your Christmas vacation plans?
- For the chicken:
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 12 small slices Havarti or aged white cheddar cheese
- 12 basil leaves
- ⅓ cup sundried tomatoes (mine were not packed in oil, but you could use either)
- Garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons butter
- For the sauce:
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chopped basil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Crumbled bacon, if desired
- To prepare chicken, cover with plastic wrap and pound chicken breasts down to about ¼" thick.
- Generously season both sides of the chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic seasoning. On one half of each chicken breast, place a layer of cheese, 2 basil leaves, a tablespoon of sundried tomatoes, and top with another layer of cheese. Fold other half of chicken over and make sure filling is well tucked inside, using toothpicks to secure ends.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set aside a 9X13 baking pan.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Once pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles, place chicken breasts in pan and sear each side for 2 minutes or until golden brown. You may need to remove the toothpicks to sear on the second side, and then replace after if needed.
- Once chicken is seared, arrange in 9X13 baking pan and remove saucepan from heat. Finish cooking chicken in the oven at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through and chicken is no longer pink inside.
- While chicken is cooking, begin making sauce. In a small mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for sauce together and whisk until smooth. Return saucepan with chicken drippings to the stove over medium heat. Slowly pour half and half mixture into pan, whisking vigorously. Bring heat to medium high and bring sauce to a boil. Continue to whisk and boil until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside. Season to taste.
- Once chicken is done, top with warm sauce and crumbled bacon.