Stuffed chicken breast with artichoke and fontina cheese recipe

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A traditional Tuscan recipe from our Italian chef Antonella. Immerse yourself in Italian cuisine and get the real taste of a place on an Italian cooking holiday.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
– 4 chicken breasts
– 4 artichokes
– 1 lemon
– 1 bunch of parsley
– 1 bunch of sage
– 3 garlic gloves
– 4 slices of fontina cheese
– 4 slices of pancetta or bacon
– 1/2 cup of white wine

Method:
Squeeze the juice of one lemon into a bowl filled with cold water. Clean the artichoke (cut half of the stalk off, about 2-3cms from the tip of the artichoke and remove the external leaves – the hard ones.)
Immediately brush with the lemon to prevent the artichoke from turning black when exposed to the air. Cut the artichokes in half and then cut in thin slices, place them in the bowl with the lemon water.
Take a saucepan and add the olive oil, the pressed cloves of garlic and parsley.
When the oil is hot remove the artichokes from the water and cook for 5 mins on a hot flame, stirring occasionally.
Lower the flame, add salt and pepper, cover and cook for about 30 mins.
Pay attention as if the steam is not sufficient to cook the artichokes, add some hot water, a little at a time.
You will know when they are cooked when they are soft but not falling apart.

Chicken:
Chicken breasts are normally quite thick, you or your butcher can cut them in half again to have thinner more workable pieces.
Take a piece of chicken breast, add a slice of fontina cheese then some cooked artichoke and close with a toothpick. Roll the piece of pancetta around the outside of the chicken breast, add an entire sage leaf and if necessary close with a piece of cooking string.

To cook:
In a saucepan heat 6 tablespoons of olive oil with the garlic cloves and cook the chicken breasts for 3-4 mins, turning constantly, until they are a dark golden brown. Add salt and pepper and 1/2 a cup of white wine, lower the flame, cover and cook for another 10 mins. Add more wine if you feel it needs it.

When artichokes are not in season you can substitute with asparagus or even make an omlette with egg and spinach and wrap that up inside the chicken.