Chestnut Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts
These stuffed chicken breasts look fancy but are actually incredibly each to make. The chicken breasts are filled with a chestnut, mushroom, garlic, onion stuffing, wrapped in bacon and then baked until the bacon is crisp and the chicken is moist and tender. This is a great dish to serve when you want to impress. This chicken with stuffing is Whole30, Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
I am always looking for alternatives to turkey, because as delicious as it is, if you aren’t feeding a huge crowd, it can be a process to prepare. These stuffed chicken breasts are a great alternative especially if Thanksgiving will be smaller for you this year or you are having a dinner party and want to impress. The chicken is filled with a delicious chestnut, mushroom and onion mixture, wrapped in bacon and then served with a simple pan sauce like gravy. They look really impressive when sliced and are actually incredibly easy to prepare.
Why you are going to love this Stuffed Chicken
- A great alternative to Turkey: This is a great option to serve on Thanksgiving if you are only feeding 4-6 people and don’t want to cook a big turkey.
- The chicken remains moist and flavourful: Chicken breasts can often become quite dry. Stuffing a chicken breasts helps to add moisture and flavour to the middle of the breasts and wrapping them in bacon helps to ensure that the outside remains moist.
- The Sauce! The 3-ingredient sauce is very simple to make and is delicious poured over the sliced chicken. Arrowroot powder (or cornstarch for anyone not Paleo) helps to thicken the sauce, but it can be omitted for anyone on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and will still have a great flavour.
- It looks so fancy: This chicken looks fancy, but is actually incredibly easy to prepare. It’s a great dish to serve when you want to impress.
Let’s Talk Chestnuts
Cooked Chestnuts: The quick and easy option is to buy cooked whole chestnuts (not a paste or puree). You should be able to find them at most grocery stores such as Whole Foods this time of year, or alternatively Amazon has a wide selection too. Using precooked and peeled chestnuts will save you a lot of time and effort.
Fresh Chestnuts: I absolutely LOVE roasted chestnuts. To roast them at home, cut an X into the skin of the chestnuts using a sharp paring knife. Place the prepared chestnuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400º Fahrenheit (200º Celsius) for 25-30 minutes until they are tender and the shells begin to peel back. Place the cooked chestnuts in a dish towel and gently shake to help crack the shell. Once the chestnuts have cooled enough to hold, peel them. You can store the cooked chestnuts in an airtight container on the counter for a few days.
The filling is a spin on one of my favourite stuffings that I often make for Thanksgiving. It’s packed with chunks of chestnuts, mushrooms, onion, garlic and herbs and has a wonderful earthy flavour. The chestnuts add a nice creamy consistency and slightly sweet flavour which contrasts really well with the mushrooms. You can prepare the filling a day or two in advance, it stores really well.
How to stuff the chicken breasts
Stuffing the chicken breasts might seem like an intimidating task but is actually very simple to do.
- Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and place your hand on top of one of the breasts
- Cut into the thickest portion of the breast and slice 3/4 of the way through. Slowly continue the slice down the length of the breast. You should be able to open the chicken breast like a book. Don’t stress if the slice isn’t even.
- Place 3 large spoonfuls of the filling on one side of the open chicken breast. Fold the other half overtop of the filling like a sandwich. Wrapping the stuffed breast with bacon helps to hold all of the filling in, so you don’t need to worry about overfilling it.
Cooking Tip: Preheat the Pan
A great tip that I learned a few years ago, is when preheating your oven, place your pan in to heat up too. This will reduce the overall cook time as well as cause the underside of the meat/fish/vegetables to become crispy rather than soft as it cooks. For this recipe, preheating the pan will help to ensure that the bacon on the underside of the breasts becomes crispy and well cooked. You can also use this tip when cooking steak or pork chops or roasting vegetables.
There are a few different ways to prepare this chicken in advance
- 2-3 weeks in advance: Make the chestnut and mushroom filling (up to the end of step 2) and freeze it. When ready prepare the chicken, thaw the filling and continue on from step 3.
- A day in advance: Prepare the filling, stuff the chicken breasts and wrap them in the bacon. Store the prepared chicken breasts in the fridge overnight and simply bake for 30 minutes before serving.
What to serve this Stuffed Chicken with:
Mash: I highly highly recommend that you serve this chicken with mash to sop up some of the sauce. I usually serve this with THE BEST Cauliflower Mash but this Carrot & Butternut Squash Mash would be delicious too!
Here are a few more date night/dinner party recipes that you might enjoy…
- Braised Short Ribs in an AMAZING Sauce
- Seared Scallops on Cauliflower Puree
- Coq no Vin
- Creamy Spinach Stuffed Salmon
- Crab & Shrimp Ravioli with Lemon Tomato Sauce
- Whole30 Braised Short Ribs
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Chestnut Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Chicken Breasts
- 4 large chicken breasts
- 10-12 strips bacon
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp sage
- 1 1/2 cup roughly chopped cooked chestnuts
- 2/3 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp arrowroot powder (optional, omit for SCD)
- Preheat the oven to 375º Fahrenheit (190º Celsius) and place a baking dish or cast iron skillet large enough to fit 4 chicken breasts in the oven to heat up
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add in the garlic, onion and mushroom, season with salt, pepper and sage and saute for 8 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Next add in the chopped chestnuts and chicken stock and leave the mixture to cook for approx 6-8 minutes until all of the liquid has evaporated.
- While the filling is cooking, prepare the chicken breasts. Place a chicken breast on a cutting board and, holding your knife parallel to the cutting board, cut horizontally three fourths of the way through the thickest part of the breast so that the breast can be opened flat onto the cutting board like a book. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.
- Lay all of the chicken breasts open on a cutting board and season with salt and pepper. Place 2-3 spoonfuls of the mushroom and chestnut filling on one half of an opened chicken breast and then close the chicken breast by folding the top half of the breast over the filling. Repeat with the remaining breasts.
- Using 2-3 strips of bacon per breast, wrap them around each chicken breast which will help to keep all of the stuffing inside the breast. Place the chicken breasts with the bacon "seam" side down in the baking dish/cast iron skillet that was heating in the oven (this will help the bacon on the under side of the chicken cook properly).
- Bake the chicken in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. When the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the oven and pour all of the liquid from the bottom of the pan into a small sauce pan. Cover the chicken breasts with aluminum foil to keep warm while you prepare the sauce.
- To the saucepan with the drippings add in the chicken stock and white wine vinegar and bring to a gentle simmer on medium high heat. In a bowl whisk together the arrowroot (if using) with 2 tbsp of water. Once the arrowroot has completely dissolved, pour it into the sauce. Leave the sauce to simmer for approximately 10 minutes until it has reduced by half.
- Cut the chicken breasts into approximately 4 slices and serve them with the sauce poured over top and an optional sprinkle of parsley for garnish.