Garlicky Cheese and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken

Serve this melt in your mouth main dish in its’ savory cream sauce over grits, pasta, or brown rice.

For the Mushroom Filling
4 Tbsp butter
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Chicken
4 chicken breast halves, skinless and boneless
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
4 1 oz slices mozzarella cheese
For the Garlic Cheese Sauce
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
2. In a large oven safe skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Saute the garlic just until fragrant. Do not brown. Add the mushrooms, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley. Cook and stir until the mushrooms are soft, then set aside on a plate to cool, leaving any juices in the pan.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, onion powder, and dried parsley. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then rub the seasoning evenly into each breast.
4. Horizontally slice a slit through the thickest part of each breast to open like a book. Place a slice of mozzarella over one side of each, then top with some of the mushroom mixture. Close each piece of chicken and secure with toothpicks.
5. Heat the same skillet over medium heat and add the chicken, searing until golden. Carefully flip the chicken and again sear until golden. Cover the pan and cook in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove to a plate and keep warm, retaining any juices in the pan. (If any of the cheese has seeped out, just pull it off the bottom of the pan and plop it on top of the chicken!)
6. Over low heat, cook the garlic in the leftover pan juices just until fragrant, then stir in mustard and half-and-half. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and add any remaining seasoning mix, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. When the cheese is beginning to melt stir in the cornstarch slurry. Cook and stir until thickened to your liking, then, if needed, season with a little more salt and pepper to taste.
7. Return the chicken to the sauce, add the fresh parsley, and heat through.

Servings: 4