One of my all time favorite recipes is a Ricotta, Pear, and Apricot preserve pizza that I make for an appetizer at parties. I love the way the flavors melt together and make dinner seem more like dessert.
So while wandering aimlessly in the grocery store looking for inspiration to get me out of my cooking rut as of late, I spotted a jar of Apricot Preserves on the shelf and stopped dead in my tracks. My first thought was the pizza… but then I thought, couldn’t I somehow incorporate this into a chicken dish? After all, you can make chicken ANYthing right?
So I started down the aisles grabbing the few ingredients I would need to make my masterpiece:
- Chicken breasts
- Dried apricots
- Apricot preserves
- 2-3 Bartlett pears
- Ricotta cheese
Start by preheating your oven to 350*
To prepare the chicken for stuffing, you can pound out your chicken breasts the old fashioned way (which for me is a great way to get out frustration from a long day of work…) OR you can purchase the thin sliced chicken breasts which are ready to roll (no pun intended). If you are going to pound your chicken the old fashioned way, grab a cutting board, saran wrap, and a good sturdy frying pan, and start pounding.
Once you have the chicken pounded thin, season both sides with a little bit of salt and pepper, and get ready to make the stuffing.
The stuffing is simple. Dice 2-3 Bartlett pears into cubes, and slice a generous handful of apricots into thin strips. Then add 1/2 cup-3/4 cup of ricotta cheese and mix well.
After you have mixed the ricotta cheese and fruit, spoon two generous spoonfuls into each chicken breast, then roll tightly, and place the seam side down in a greased casserole dish.
Now comes my almost two year old’s favorite part… the “painting”
Take two tablespoons of the apricot preserves and in a small microwave safe dish heat 10-20 seconds. Then, using a pastry or basting brush, “paint” each roll up with the apricot glaze. Save about half as you will repeat the process one or two times during cooking as well.
Bake at 350* for 30-40 minutes (longer if your meat is thicker, shorter if it is thin), until meat is cooked through. Serve immediately.