Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Cranberry Quinoa

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • CHICKEN:
  • 3/4 cup dry sherry  
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 large tart apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add quinoa and thyme. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat; fluff with a fork. Discard thyme.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add green onions and celery; cook and stir until tender. Add cooked quinoa. Stir in the dried fruits, lemon juice, lemon peel and salt.
  3. In a large saucepan, mix the first six chicken ingredients until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until slightly thickened. Add the apple, cranberries and walnuts. Stir in preserves and butter until melted.
  4. Cut a pocket horizontally in the thickest part of each chicken breast. Fill each with 2-3 tablespoons quinoa mixture; secure with toothpicks. Place remaining quinoa mixture in a greased 1-qt. baking dish; cover with foil. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Carefully brown stuffed chicken on both sides. Transfer to a greased 13×9-in. baking dish; pour apple mixture over top.
  5. Bake chicken and quinoa, at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in chicken reads 170° and quinoa is heated through. Serve chicken with quinoa. Discard toothpicks before serving. Yield: 6 servings.

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