Ham & Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Some days all you want is a ham and cheese sandwich with a slice of tomato and maybe a slick of mayo or mustard, right? Today was not that day for me. (I am not a fan of cold cuts.) But, there was some sliced ham in the fridge and not much else, so I contemplated what to do with it. Grilled ham and cheese would be tolerable, because I wanted something comforting, yet I was looking for something a bit more...dinnerlike?

So, this is what I came up with. Better than a sandwich, if you ask me.

Ham & Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
1/4 lb sliced ham
1/4 lb sliced Swiss cheese or Provolone (Mozzarella is too melty)
1 bunch basil
2 TBS butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup strained tomatoes
Kosher salt/pepper
1/4 cup heavy cream

Minimal MESS/ingredients/clean-up: Category 2 

To Do:

  • Take a slice or two each of the ham and cheese and a few basil leaves, top each breast, then  fold, or roll up lengthwise, securing with toothpicks (keep track of how many you put in each). Repeat three more times.
  • In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat until it's bubbling, then carefully add the chicken roll-ups. Brown the chicken on all sides, then add in the garlic, diced tomatoes and strained tomatoes. 
  • Cover pan, lower the heat to medium, and let simmer about 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, turning once or twice.
  • Set aside the lid. Turn the heat to low and remove the chicken roll-ups from the pan. Season with salt/pepper and stir in the cream. Simmer for five more minutes, add a handful of chopped basil, then turn off the heat.
  • In the meantime, remove the toothpicks from each piece of chicken (make sure you get them all!).
  • Strain the sauce, discarding any large chunks of tomato/skins, then return to the pan and heat sauce through.
  • To serve, place a chicken breast on each plate and let guests cut into their own. Alternatively, slice each piece into even pieces before serving. Spoon a bit of sauce over each plate.

  • On the side, offer your favorite pasta (goes great with ravioli or meatless lasagna) and crusty bread along with a green salad.