Bruschetta Chicken with Mascarpone, Pancetta, and Scallions

Here’s the thing about rolled or stuffed chicken: I generally don’t like it. It’s either too heavy (the ratio of cheese or filling to chicken is off) or the chicken dries out. Either way, I’m more likely to add a beautiful sauce or side dish to my chicken than to stuff it.

This chicken might be the only exception. By stuffing the chicken with mascarpone, I can pretty much guarantee that once the cheese melts, the chicken will be left with a beautiful sauce (flavored by the additional ingredients in the filling — pancetta and scallions!) and that the chicken will be moist throughout.

I realize this is all very confusing without pictures, so let’s take look.

Preheat an oven to 375 F. Using a meat tenderizer, pound out three chicken breasts until they’re roughly 1/4″ thick.

In a small bowl, combine one 8 oz. container of mascarpone cheese with a few thinly sliced scallions (I used three or four) and some crispy pancetta.

Divide the filling into thirds, then evenly distribute between the chicken breasts. Place filling in a straight line down the middle of each chicken breast, then roll the chicken over on itself until it is fully sealed. Secure with toothpicks and repeat until each chicken breast is stuffed. Season each chicken breast with salt and pepper.

Heat the reserved pancetta fat over medium-high heat, then carefully add chicken to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, then transfer to a preheated oven and cook for an additional 10-12 minutes.

This is where the magic happens. The mascarpone filling melts almost entirely, leaving the chicken flavored on both the inside and outside.

When you pull the chicken out of the oven, let it sit for a few minutes to cool slightly (this will make it easier to cut and allow the juices to redistribute). I also like to take this opportunity to spoon the mascarpone cheese sauce over each piece of chicken. Couldn’t hurt, right?

Serve sliced chicken with roasted asparagus, couscous, and my favorite personal touch, bruschetta (recipe below)! The flavors just work.

And yes, it is totally acceptable to drink the sauce by the spoonful.

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