Stuffed & Wrapped Chicken Breast & Layered Ravioli Casserole

Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breast Stuffed with Roasted Red Pepper & Chevre & Ravioli/Veggie Layered Casserole

Some of the best recipes happen by accident. I roasted a pile of sweet red peppers this morning. When I went shopping, the bulk red peppers in a bag were cheaper than the two individual peppers I planned to buy. So, I bought the big bag of peppers since you can roast peppers and store them in the fridge for several weeks (just cover them with olive oil) and the remaining red pepper oil can be used for cooking so there’s no waste. There’s a marvelous step by step guide to roasting red peppers at allrecipes.com that explains it so well that duplicating it here would be silly.

While the peppers were roasting, I prepared a layered casserole to bake once I pulled out the peppers and could turn down the oven. I sauteed some onions and garlic in olive oil and put them in the bottom of my baking dish. I cut up one green zucchini and two tomatoes into small pieces. I mixed 1/4 cup of salsa in with the raw zucchini and then just as though I were making lasagna, I layered the zucchini, followed by frozen ravioli followed by tomatoes and then repeated the layers again. I popped it in the oven at 350 and let it bake for 35 minutes while I began to make the chicken.

I thawed a frozen chicken breast in the microwave. Then I took 1/4 of a red pepper and diced it up. I added 3 ounces of chevre with some salt, pepper and garlic salt. I mixed everything together with the red pepper. I then cut the chicken breast horizontally in the thickest portion – not cutting it fully in half. I stuffed the chevre/red pepper mixture in the chicken. It occurred to me that having thawed in the microwave, the chicken could get a bit dry, so I wrapped two slices of bacon around it. I heated a skillet to medium and put the chicken on to cook. I put a lid on for a few minutes just to make sure it cooked through the center before removing the lid so the bacon would crisp up. I turned it after the bacon was nicely crisped and then cooked the other side until the bacon was done.

I put the chicken on my plate to rest and sprinkled a bit of parmesan on the casserole, turning the oven to broil. In three minutes the parmesan nicely browned and I removed the casserole and dished up one serving. The casserole made four servings, so guess what I will have for supper.

I gambled that the liquids from the tomatoes and salsa would be plenty to cook the ravioli and they were. By cooking it this way, the ravioli absorbed those flavors and was so much richer and more savory tasting. I think the chicken would have been delicious without the bacon, but do know that bacon-wrapping can really ensure moist tenderness and this chicken was moist, tender and amazing to taste. Chevre and roasted red pepper are a perfect flavor combination. As you can see from the photo, the chicken was very moist while cooked perfectly throughout.

Romaine Salad with Raspberries, Pecans and Chevre

Summer Salad - Romaine, Raspberries and Chevre

Chevre was on sale at the grocery store and I bought a pound of it, looking forward to summer salads of fruit and lettuce with a bit of chevre and cheese. There really is no tastier cheese for a summer fruit and cheese salad. There also is almost no limit to the number of salads you can come up with, but for me, the tastiest is a mixture of raspberries, pecans and chevre with some romaine and raspberry vinaigrette.

First wash and shred the romaine, making a bed for your salad. Add  a handful of raspberries, a few pecans and a generous bit of chevre. I just dig it out with the tines of a fork. It’s so soft and creamy that slicing it seems silly. Sometimes I add some apple or pear slices, but today I went for a simpler salad. It’s so delicious with the sweet creaminess of the cheese blending with the sweet tartness of the berries to contrast with the freshness of the lettuce and the salty crunch of the pecans. Add a tart salad dressing like raspberry vinaigrette or a balsamic dressing and you’re in business.