4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces (250 grams) brown mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
Salt and pepper, to season
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
8 slices mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large cloves garlic minced or finely chopped
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1-1/2 cups half and half or use reduced fat cream or evaporated milk*
1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to your tastes
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch cornflour mixed with 2 teaspoons of water (OPTIONAL FOR A THICKER SAUCE)
2 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) for the chicken.
Melt butter in a large oven proof pan or skillet (over 12-inch or 30 cm) over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the mushrooms, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring periodically, until the vegetables are tender. Set aside to chill while you finish prepping the chicken.
Using a paper towel, pat the breasts dry. Salt, pepper, onion powder, and dry parsley to taste. Rub each piece with your hands to evenly coat it in seasoning.
To make a pocket, cut a horizontal slit across the thickest area of each breast. In each breast pocket, place two slices of mozzarella.
Fill each breast with the mushroom mixture (leave the liquids in the pan for later) after dividing the mushroom mixture into four equal portions. Don’t worry if there are any mushrooms left over. They’ll come in handy later). 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese per breast goes on top of the mushroom mixture. To keep the mushrooms inside during cooking, use two or three toothpicks near the opening.
Heat the pan juices and the garlic butter in the same pan where the mushrooms were cooked (the garlic butter will start to brown and take on a nutty flavor). Sear the chicken till golden brown. Cook until golden brown on the opposite side. Cook for another 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the meat is thoroughly cooked through the middle and no longer pink.
Serve with any remaining mushrooms and pan juices on top of spaghetti, rice, or steamed veggies.
(To make the optional cream sauce, remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside on a warm platter, keeping all of the liquids in the pan.)
Sauce: In the remaining pan juices, fry the garlic until fragrant (about 1 minute). Reduce to a low heat setting and stir in the mustard and half-and-half (or cream).
Add any remaining mushrooms and parmesan cheese to the sauce and bring to a low simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes, until the parmesan cheese has slightly melted. (If the sauce is too runny, add the cornstarch/water mixture to the center of the pan and stir quickly to incorporate it into the sauce.) It’ll start thickening right away).
To taste, season with a pinch of salt and pepper. To serve, return the chicken to the pan with the herbs.