4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces (250 grams) brown mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
Salt and pepper, to season
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
8 slices mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large cloves garlic minced or finely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1-1/2 cups half and half or use reduced fat cream or evaporated milk*
1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to your tastes
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch cornflour mixed with 2 teaspoons of water (OPTIONAL FOR A THICKER SAUCE)
2 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 200°C or 400°F.
Melt butter in a large (over 12-inch or 30 cm) oven proof pan or skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add in mushrooms, salt and pepper (to your tastes), and parsley. Cook while stirring occasionally until soft. Set aside and allow to cool while preparing your chicken.
Pat breasts dry with a paper towel. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder and dried parsley. Rub each piece to evenly coat in seasoning.
Horizontally slice a slit through the thickest part of each breast to form a pocket. Place 2 slices of mozzarella into each breast pocket.
Divide the mushroom mixture into four equal portions and fill each breast with the mushroom mixture (leave the juices in the pan for later. If there are any left over mushrooms, don’t worry. You’ll use them later). Top the mushroom mixture with 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese per breast. Seal with two or three toothpicks near the opening to keep the mushrooms inside while cooking.
Heat the same pan the mushrooms were in along with the pan juices (the garlic butter will start to brown and take on a ‘nutty’ flavour). Add the chicken and sear until golden. Flip and sear on the other side until golden. Cover pan and continue cooking in preheated oven for a further 20 minutes, or until completely cooked through the middle and no longer pink.
Serve, with pan juices and any remaining mushrooms, on top of pasta, rice or steamed vegetables.
(To make the optional cream sauce, transfer chicken to a warm plate, keeping all juices in the pan.)
Fry the garlic in the leftover pan juices until fragrant (about 1 minute). Reduce heat to low heat, and add the mustard and half and half (or cream).
Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and add in any remaining mushrooms and parmesan cheese. Allow the sauce to simmer until the parmesan cheese has melted slightly. (If the sauce is too runny for your liking, add the cornstarch/water mixture into the centre of the pan and mix through fast to combine into the sauce. It will begin to thicken immediately).
Season with a little salt and pepper to your taste. Add in the parsley and the chicken back into the pan to serve.