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Quinoa-stuffed Chicken Breast


Wrapped in kitchen twine, these stuffed cutlets look incredibly appealing. The inspiration for this citrus sauce comes from the winter season, when oranges are at their peak sweetness. Enhanced by a touch of maple syrup, the oranges harmonize and caramelize beautifully in the oven to complement the quinoa-stuffed chicken breast. The quinoa itself is speckled with tangy capers and olives, providing just the right savory balance to the sweet sauce.


For the Stuffing

1. To prepare the stuffing, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium flame. Add the quinoa and sauté for a minute until it begins to crackle.
2. Pour in boiling water, add the salt, and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the quinoa has fully absorbed the water.
3. Fluff with a fork and mix in the olives, capers, garlic, and parsley. Set aside to cool.

For the Chicken

1. If the chicken breasts aren’t thin, pound them with a meat tenderizer between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.
2. Preheat oven to 350° F.
3. Spread each piece of chicken flat and fill with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the quinoa mixture. Fold each side inward to wrap the filling.
4. Using a piece of kitchen twine about 6 to 7 inches long, carefully slide the twine under the chicken, and tie it around the cutlet as if you were wrapping a ribbon around a gift. Repeat with each of the pieces of chicken. Set aside any leftover quinoa.
5. In a large roasting pan, combine the orange juice and maple syrup. Add the chicken and orange slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
6. Bake covered at 350°F for an hour and a half. Increase the heat to 400°F, uncover the pan, and continue baking for 15 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and the juices have slightly caramelized.
7. Serve hot, alongside any remaining quinoa.