Tired of the same old bland chicken breasts? Cranberry Pecan Stuffed Chicken wrapped in phyllo will really wow your family and guests. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are stuffed with a combination of cream cheese, cracker crumbs, cranberries, pecans, and herbs, then wrapped in phyllo dough to bake. Deliciously different, yet easy to make.
They make an impressive presentation at the table, yet are so simple to put together. The recipe easily lends itself to variation as my notes below indicate. Bonus: Kids love this dish!
Cranberry Pecan Stuffed Chicken Recipe
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (see Notes below)
4 ounces cream cheese
8 saltine crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup diced onions
2 teaspoons friesh tarragon leaves or 1 teaspoon dried, plus additional for optional garnish
1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, optional
Salt to taste
12 sheets thawed phyllo dough
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Pound with the flat side (not the waffle side) of a meat tenderizer to an even thickness. Set aside.
For the stuffing, place cream cheese, saltine crackers, cranberries, onions, tarragon, and sage in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse until cranberries and pecans are chopped into 1/4-inch bits.
Place chicken breasts on a cutting board, smooth-side down. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Divide stuffing evenly between the 4 chicken breasts and roll, folding up the sides to contain the stuffing.
Place one sheet of phyllo (see Notes below on working with phyllo) on a cutting board with a short side facing you and lightly brush with melted butter. Top with a second sheet of phyllo with butter, then follow with a third.
Place the stuffed chicken breast near the bottom of the phyllo, seam-side down. Wrap the phyllo over the top of the chicken. Fold each side to the center over the chicken, then roll the chicken to the end of the phyllo to form a bundle. Place in roasting pan seam-side down and brush with remaining butter.
Bake 30 minutes, until the bundles are golden and chicken is cooked through. (Test with an instant-read thermometer. It should read 165 F.) Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing to serve. Sprinkle with chopped tarragon to serve, if desired.
Serve Cranberry Pecan Stuffed Chicken with a salad your favorite vegetables.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
• Most boneless, skinless chicken breasts are sold with the tenderloin already removed. If you are cutting up your own chicken, remove the tenderloin and freeze for other purposes before pounding the chicken breasts flat.
• Save time by purchasing chicken cutlets, which you will not have to pound flat.
• You may substitute 1/4 cup cracker crumbs or bread crumbs for the saltine crackers. If you do substitute, stir them in after processing the other stuffing ingredients.
• Butter crackers (ie. Ritz©) may be substituted for the saltines.
• Walnuts may be substituted for pecans.
• If you do not have a basting brush, simply dip your fingers into the melted butter and gently spread it on the phyllo.
• Keep remaining phyllo sheets covered with plastic wrap or a damp paper towel while you work so they do not dry out and become brittle.
Cranberry Pecan Stuffed Chicken Recipe Photo ©2019 Peggy Filippone