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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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February 05 2011

Double-Pork Stuffed Chicken Breasts

By Worker Bee
91 Comments

Vegetables certainly have their place at the Primal table and we eat them often in every season. But man (and woman) cannot survive on vegetables alone. Or, rather, they can and do, but in our opinion it’s a much less tasty (and nutritious) way to live. Nothing lures us in and satisfies our hunger like the savory aroma of meat dripping with juices and glistening with lip-smacking fat.

In our never-ending quest to enjoy all the butcher shop has to offer, we’re turning our attention this week to a cut of meat we rarely buy. Not because it’s exotic or adventurous, quite the opposite actually. In fact, it might just be the least adventurous cut of meat out there. That’s right, we’re talking about the boneless, skinless chicken breast.

We don’t buy this cut regularly, usually preferring to feast on the whole bird or on fattier pieces with bones and skin intact. But every once in a while when we want a simple dish with loads of juicy flavor that will please everyone at the table  (including kids and picky meat-eaters), chicken breasts are the perfect meal. Yes, you read that right. Loads of juicy flavor. If you think those words don’t belong in the same sentence as “chicken breast” then you’ve obviously never had Double-Pork Stuffed Chicken Breasts.

The trick to transforming chicken breasts from bland and boring to sensational is dressing them up a bit. The breast is ideal for stuffing; just butterfly it and pound the meat a little thinner so you can fit a lot inside. We use ground pork for its fat content and flavor and season it with three simple, flavorful spices. The options for stuffing chicken breasts, however, are endless. You can add sautéed vegetables or a little grated cheese, or play around with different meat and spice combinations. There is one thing about this recipe you won’t want to change, however, and that’s the part where we replace the missing skin with something even better: Bacon!

Wrapping chicken breasts snugly in a generous layer of bacon steers them out of bland and dry territory into lip-smacking, juicy flavor territory. The bacon also holds the whole dish together so well that you can eat one of these babies with your hands, as if it were a sandwich. This makes Double-Pork Stuffed Chicken Breasts not only a great dinner dish, but something you can eat cold the next day for breakfast or lunch on-the-go.

Ingredients:


4 servings

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 package of bacon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a skillet over medium heat, sauté pork, shallot, parsley and half of spices for 6-8 minutes until pork is just cooked, but still slightly pink.

Use a knife to butterfly the breasts (slice lengthwise through one side of the breast creating a pocket).

Open up the breasts and pound briefly with a meat tenderizer to thin the meat out a bit.

Sprinkle the remaining spices evenly over the inside of the breasts.

Spoon equal amounts of ground pork on to one side of each breast, then fold the other side over the top.

Wrap bacon slices snugly around each breast, covering entirely.

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, then put under the broiler for 3 minutes to crisp up bacon.

Can be eaten warm or cold.


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91 thoughts on “Double-Pork Stuffed Chicken Breasts”

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  1. Oh my god! These look WONDERFUL! Mark, kudos to your food stylist (or whatever you call the folks who arrange the food and then take a photograph of it). Maybe you did it yourself? The photos that accompany this article, and the photos in The Primal Cookbook, are just beautiful. They add so much to the printed recipe.

  2. This looks absolutely delicious! I always think those boneless skinless chicken breasts need some dressing up.

    Thanks!

  3. Wow! It’s only 8am, and I’m jonsin’ to make Double Stuffed Chicken Breast! They look do delicious 🙂

  4. my hubby has been on a weightloss kick..now that we lost the weight its more of a bodybuilding kick….this recipe will serve us well..it looks amazing

  5. I just asked my girlfriend what we should eat for dinner tonight. I then sat down at the computer and opened up MDA. I now know whats for dinner tonight! These look awesome.

      1. There is no such thing as grass-fed pork and chicken as far as I know:) Chickens will eat up to 30% of their calories in grass (and that’s a LOT of grass), if allowed access to unlimited supplies.
        Pigs natural diet seems to be mast, which is composed of seeds and fruits fallen from trees, various plants, bugs etc.
        Now, ruminants, such as cows and sheep, can be raised totally on grass, but by all accounts, poultry and pork cannot.
        So, they are pastured, not grass-fed:))

        1. It’s also peculiar that poultry is often (usually) marked ‘hormone free’ or ‘grown without hormones’ when feeding poultry hormones is prohibited by law….

    1. Grass-fed, pastured meats contain a lot less omega 6 compared to conventional meats.

      Cow, either way, has a lot less omega 6 compared to pork but poultry has more than red meats.

      Another reason to eat more red meat…

  6. This looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it! As someone who is big into BBQ,I would suggest using a woven “bacon mat” instead of just wrapping the bacon around the chicken. The mat seems to hold everything together better and gets even more bacony flavor! Here is a link with a picture of how the bacon mat works (different recipe though)…

    http://www.bbqaddicts.com/blog/recipes/bacon-explosion/

    1. I’ve made the bacon explosion. It is soooo good! Like a bacon-sausage steak. I’m drooling just thinking about it.

      1. Ahhhhh, the bacon explosion… Haven’t made that in a while. I’m sure it’s time!

    2. I almost cried when I clicked that link. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

  7. I love it Mark, set my mouth to watering. We eat a lot of chicken, so anything new is totally welcome! And, wrapping it in bacon.. ooOOOoooooh, yummy! Printing it out now to keep FOREVER!!!!!

    1. I always meditate while cooking. I know it’s not TRUE meditation, but I find chopping, sautéing, pounding, rolling, folding … quite soothing.

  8. Meat, meat, and more meat. I’m drooling. This is epic! Kudos, Mark! I will be making this dish this evneing. mmmm. . . . 😀

  9. Hahaha I love the messages in the pictures when you move the mouse over them.

  10. “Pound, do not choke, your chicken” lol you just made my afternoon!

  11. Damn that looks good! If i can just find some ground pork without sugar in it

    1. I’m with you on the additives thing. I grind my own. Years ago I spoiled myself with a KitchenAid mixer; the attachments have been lovely birthday/Christmas gifts along the way. Get a pork shoulder (butt) and grind away. I season some as Italian sausage, some as breakfast sausage, and keep some just plain. Then, it’s SUPER easy to grad a package of whatever and proceed with the recipe of the moment.

  12. Alright! I’ve got this in the oven right now. Let you know how it turns out! Kitchen smells sooooo good!

  13. I made this earlier today, with a slight variation. I added some chopped apples to the ground pork mixture, and it tasted amazing. Definitely adding this to the playlist for future meals.

    1. Thank you for the apple suggestion. It added a nice crunch and flavor to the stuffing. My non-paleo wife also loved this dish. She usually won’t eat leftovers (I love leftovers) but this dish she asked for some leftovers the following 2 nights! Definite win.

  14. Does anyone get a bit depressed that they haven’t had one of these yet

  15. Made this for dinner tonight… A-MAZ-ING. I’m sold. Next time, I’ll add a little bit of cheese inside to give it just another dimension.

    1. it was totally amazing, will post a replay of making the recipe on my blog tomorrow, with a link back here. We all loved it, Had 4 guests over and they demanded the left overs! WIN!

    2. The moment I read this recipe I thought, “no imagine adding a bit of blue cheese…”

      Drooling at the the thought of it…

  16. Looks awesome. Cannot wait to get started. Thats my evening dinner project for tomorrow I feel. Thanks Mark!

  17. Tried this and I can confirm that it’s everything it promises to be. Leftovers for breakfast…

  18. Made these last night, used grass fed beef instead of pork only because that’s what I had in the fridge, and my local store carries grass fed beef, but not pork. added a side of brussel sprouts for good measure. They were very good, and very filling!

  19. I made this last night but subbed the ground pork for some hot italian sausage (without the casings)… So rediculously tasty. I’m having tastebud flashbacks!

  20. Making these now. I consider myself a half decent cook but how are you supposed to wrap a flexible substance around another flexible substance with a crumbly substance inside. 🙁

    That was kind of rough.

    1. +1 on the sauce. For my wife I served this on a puddle of Hollandaise sauce.

  21. Yum, I used ground beef and pounded NY strips (what I had). This could have cooked no more than 20 minutes in the oven, though, maybe 15.

    (In answer to the above question, having a large surface area post-pounding makes for easiest and tightest rolling. Then it holds together on its own before throwing bacon on it.)

  22. This is similar to what I usually bring with me to work for lunch. Any idea of how long this will last in the refrigerator. Is 4 days too long?

  23. “Pound, do not choke, your chicken” (alt text for the photo with the flattened chicken breast).
    My office coworkers are wondering why I am laughing so hard.

  24. Made this last night. Added some sauteed mushrooms to the stuffing. Rolling and wrapping was a little tricky, and I found that pound the breasts didn’t help much. Delicious. Thanks!

  25. I hate to do this but I am going to be the first to say that this recipe was so labor intensive and the end product was pretty bland.

    It would have been better with hot Italian sausage.

    I will stick to my pork medallions wrapped with bacon and brandy apples.

    1. ok, I’ll bite…no pun intended…please give us a rundown on your pork medallions wrapped with bacon and brady apples. This sounds like something I need to cook almost immediately.

  26. Just made this last night for a small dinner party.. HUGE!

    These went over aweseomely (is that a word?)

    Hardest part was probably rolling the chicken tightly enough – and even that wasn’t particularly hard.

    Thanks.

    -Steve

  27. Made these last night for dinner, absolutely delicious. Our dog enjoyed the leftovers as well.

  28. made this dish the beginning of the week, it was flavorful and easy to prepare, thanks!

  29. I made this last night and it was delicious. Thanks Mark! I checked out your blog when Leo Babauta of Zen Habits mentioned it and the first thing I saw was this recipe. My family love it!

    Val

  30. I made this last night very tasty indeed! I am have leftovers of it today for lunch.
    Thanks

  31. I overcooked mine. Assembling was actually pretty easy (I do this quite often so practice, practice, practice is the watch-word). I also used only one slice of bacon per roll. WHAT WAS I THINKING?????? Whew, glad I’m over that. Definitely cover the whole roll with bacon. I’m going to do this again very soon. I did season the ground pork with herbs de provance which was really good flavor-wise.

    one slice of bacon…sheez!

  32. Celery salt was a bit overpowering- I’d cut by at least half next time. I also overcooked mine, but only because I put it in for an extra 5 minutes because I’m a little crazy about potentially undercooked chicken. Will try again!

  33. I got this in the oven right now, except I used different spices. I’m going to do a cranberry cream sauce with it 🙂

  34. I made this for dinner last night and really impressed my boyfriend (and myself!). So good! I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to put it all together. Will definitely join my rotation of delicious primal/paleo recipes!

  35. Just made this for my husband and I. Wow! So delicious! I will be an avid follower of your website from here on it. Well done!

  36. Mark, this looks awsome!! I will be trying it soon.
    On another recipe you had a recipe for home made mayonaise. I lost it. Would you please post it again. I looked at it in the grocery and every one I could find was full of “JUNK”, so needless I didn’t buy it. Thanks

  37. Mark, I used the wrong Email address before. Please, if you could send me the recipe for homemade mayonaise I would really appreciate it. Thanks

  38. I just made this– it was phenomenal! All joking aside, it actually made for a nice, delicate, balanced protein when sliced and served with salad.

  39. I also just made it. Used onlion, pepper and shrimp as stuffing. came out as very nice and tender. Just follow the recipe as it is and it will come out to be perfect. thanks so much for sharing this recipe. This will be now on my permanent fav recipe list. Cheers!

  40. Thank you for this recipe! I did not pre-cook the filling mixture(by accident) and decided to lower the temp to 350 and bake a longer time to make sure the pork center cooked through. It worked great! I checked with an instant read thermometer ’till the internal temp. was at “pork”-180 degrees, took about an hour? I lost track of time but the final result was a juicy tender chicken extrior, not dried out or overbaked thanks to the bacon and a nice thoroughly cooked interior. Plus, rolling the chicken around the uncooked pork was much easier.

    This will make a great main dish for packed lunches!

  41. Made these the other day and they were absolutely delectable. I just made the Jambalaya from the Primal Cookbook and it was also remarkably scrumptious! Keep these recipes comin, baby!

  42. @Barb – basic mayo recipe
    1 tbsp of dijon mustard
    1 egg yolk
    mix with blender and introduce oil in small amount but in constant stream while continuing to whisk/blend.
    Stop when happy with taste and consistency.
    One warning – egg and mustard must be at room temperature. this recipe takes 2 minutes and is idiot proof since I can do it :-)!

  43. Thank you so much for the mayo recipe, sounds so easy, I think I can do it!
    Thank you, Mark for such an awsome website.

  44. This is the first recipe I’ve tried from here and I’m a pretty poor cook….. But this turned out great. Here is what I really loved about this:
    1. All the timings and temps were spot on
    2. Actually makes 4 servings!!!
    3. Tastes awsome – can’t wait to try the apples too

  45. Just made this today for dinner–AMAZING! The recepie is a total keeper, and so easy to make.

  46. Made this tonight. Best chicken I’ve had in a long time. Great recipe!!!!

  47. I just had these again tonight, used Jimmy Dead sausage instead of regular ground pork. YUMMY!

  48. I usually stuff chicken breasts with cranberry sauce and cream cheese and then wrap them in bacon. But I’m going to have to try this version!

  49. Wow. I just made this and it was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. I used “Santa fe” sausages from whole foods (took filling out of casing), and added rainbow chard, cilantro, red pepper and a serrano to the filling. Boyfriend said its one of the best things I’ve ever made. Will be making again! The possibilities seem endless with tweaks on the filling.

    If you’ve ever had a bacon popper this is like having one huge bacon popper for dinner. What could be better?!

  50. Just got the ingredients to make this tonight!!! I’m subbing hot ground sausage instead of ground pork, and adding minced jalapenos, and fresh mozzarella cheese to the filling. Will let you know how it turns out!

  51. Well, in haste of making everything, I was a wreck in the kitchen. Dropped the fresh mozzarella balls, and the plastic container exploded.. saved the cheese though! In the midst of wrapping the chicken in the awesome bacon sliced (which was kinda tricky), I looked to my right and noticed that the cheese balls were still sitting there, I forgot to put them in. Bugger! Oh well, I’ll just drop those in the potatoes when it gets closer to them being done. It’s in the oven now, and smells INCREDIBLE. However, it looks like my chicken breasts are a LOT larger than yours.. Hope it still turns out. I’m afraid of the cooking time (I’m a complete wuss when it comes to cooking chicken/pork, a little pink and I freak out!). I seriously hope that when it’s all said and done, that this meal turns out great! My boyfriend is super excited about it, so having it turn out is a must! Will update you when it’s done!

  52. Okay, was AWESOME! They turned out delicious. Thanks for the awesome recipe! I just purchased 21 day guide to primal living, and the primal blueprint cookbook. I’m really excited!

  53. I google’d this recipe with ingredients I had on hand and made this for my wife and mother for Mother’s Day. It was very good, except for the undercooked bacon “look”, to which I assured the ladies that, “Science says it’s thoroughly cooked”. I actually ended up taking everyone’s bacon (at their request) and put it in a pan and let cook up crispy. I may try quarter cooking it next time. Thanks a lot though, otherwise perfect!

  54. I bought a pound of ground pork instead of 3/4 pound so I figured I’d make (5). I completely and fully understand now why the number is (4) chicken breasts, not (5). Live long, Learn. Drop Dead. lol.