In the Pantry Challenge video series, Lauren Braun Costello -- chef, author and food stylist -- shows busy moms how to make meals using ingredients they already have in their pantries, solving their unique cooking challenges. In this episode, Lauren shows Aimee R., a mother of two and a PR executive, how to make a new and exciting dish for her family using sliced almonds -- chicken breasts stuffed with almonds, apples, and brie.
To begin, Lauren prepares the stuffing. She toasts the sliced almonds in a dry, heavy pan until they're golden, then sets them aside. She adds butter to the pan and adds chopped apples. The butter helps the apples to caramelize, bringing out their natural sugars. Once they're tender, she sets them aside as well.
To prepare the boneless, skinless breasts for stuffing, Lauren uses a sharp paring knife. Starting at the plump area near the top, she plunges the knife in the middle to create a pocket. To make the pocket bigger, she shimmies the knife in both directions, keeping the knife flat.
Stuffing the chicken is a snap once you have everything ready. The first step is to salt and pepper the cavity. Next, add a slice of brie into the cavity. (A helpful tip: Freeze the brie slices for at least 20 minutes. This way, the cheese won't melt or get gooey when you insert it into the cavity.) Next, add some of the toasted almonds. Then lastly, the apples. Be generous, but don't overstuff the chicken or it won't cook through.
Lauren cooks the stuffed breasts in a mixture of olive oil and butter. Once both sides are browned, she adds chicken stock to help steam the chicken and create a pan sauce. After a few minutes of cooking with the lid on, the chicken is ready to slice and serve.
Get the Recipe for Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Apples, Almonds, and Brie.