Fontina-Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Spring Vegetables
Stuffing meat before cooking is a popular technique in many European cuisines—it locks in moisture and boosts flavor. Here, we're butterflying chicken breasts and marinating them in a tangy-sweet herb sauce. They're stuffed with a nutty blend of French Gruyère and Italian Fontina cheeses before getting pan-seared to crisp, gooey perfection. Tender roasted leek, potato, and asparagus round out this restaurant-worthy meal.
Total cook time
- 2 lemons
- 1/8 ounce oregano
- 1/8 ounce rosemary
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 ounce honey
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 8 ounces leek
- 10 ounces asparagus
- 1 pound red-skinned potatoes
- 2 ounces shredded Fontina cheese
- 2 ounces shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup peas
Preheat oven to 425°F. Rinse all produce. Halve 1 lemon; quarter remaining lemon and set aside for serving. Finely chop enough oregano and rosemary leaves to yield 2 teaspoons of each, discarding stems; save remaining herbs for another recipe. Transfer chopped herbs to a large bowl or resealable plastic bag. Using the flat side of a knife, gently crush garlic cloves, then add to bowl or bag with herbs.
Add white wine vinegar, honey, crushed red pepper (skip or use half for less heat), juice of 1 lemon, and 3 tablespoons olive oil to bowl or bag with herbs and garlic, then whisk to combine. Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Using a sharp knife, slice chicken open horizontally, keeping 1 edge intact, to resemble open books. Add to marinade and gently turn to coat, then set aside at room temperature, at least 10 minutes.
While chicken marinates, if leek arrived with dark green tops, trim and discard them. Halve leek lengthwise, then cut crosswise into .25-inch half-moons. Place in a bowl of cold water, separating pieces to remove dirt. Trim and discard woody bottoms of asparagus, then cut into 1-inch pieces. Cut potatoes into 1-inch pieces, transfer to a baking sheet, and toss with 1.5 tablespoons olive oil, .5 teaspoon salt and pepper.
Arrange potatoes in a single layer and roast until softening, 12 minutes. Meanwhile, remove chicken from marinade and place on a plate, reserving marinade for later. Season chicken all over with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Stuff with Fontina and Gruyère, close to seal in cheese, then set aside. Using your hands or a slotted spoon, remove leeks from water and place on paper towels to drain.
Once potatoes are softened, add asparagus, leeks, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and .5 teaspoon salt to baking sheet, and toss to combine with potatoes. Continue roasting vegetables until very tender, 12 minutes more. Then, remove baking sheet from oven, add peas, and toss with vegetables to warm through. Set aside.
While vegetables roast, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add stuffed chicken (see Recipe Tip). Sear until bottom begins to brown, 6 minutes. Flip, pour over reserved marinade, and cook until no longer pink, 6 minutes more. Enjoy chicken with roasted vegetables and lemon for squeezing over.
All recipe ingredients should be cooked to a safe internal temperature according to USDA guidelines. After preparing a recipe, please store any leftovers in the refrigerator.