Chicken Stuffed with Feta and Dates [on Barley Pilaf]

  • Yield: 4 servings


Stuffed Chicken Breasts:
4-- skinless boneless chicken breast fillets
1/2cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2cup chopped dates
1teaspoon grated lemon zest
1tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1cup dry bread crumbs
1teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon black pepper
1/2cup melted butter
2cloves garlic, minced
Barley Pilaf:
1tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4cup quick cooking barley
2cloves garlic, minced
1-- 14 ounce can chicken broth
1teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/2teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon black pepper
2tablespoons capers
1/4cup unsalted roasted sunflower seed kernels
2-- green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts
2tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4cup chopped fresh parsley
Garnish: lemon slices


For chicken: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Pound breasts between layers of plastic wrap to about 1/2" thickness. In a small bowl combine feta cheese, dates, lemon zest and oregano. Place 1/4 of feta cheese mixture on one end of each breast and roll up, tucking sides in to enclose filling. Secure with toothpicks if necessary. In a flat shallow bowl combine melted butter and minced garlic. In another bowl combine bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Coat each chicken breast first with melted butter mixture, then with bread crumbs. Place on a baking sheet lined with non-stick foil. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until chicken is tender.

For pilaf: In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat, add garlic and barley. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 – 12 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, salt, pepper, sunflower seed kernels, green onions, basil, and lemon juice.

To serve, place pilaf on a platter or in a large shallow bowl. Top with stuffed chicken breasts. Sprinkle parsley over all. Garnish with lemon slices if desired. Serves 4