Mushroom Stuffed Chicken with Sage Gravy (Paleo)

  So I’m going to start this recipe by saying that this is a total p.i.t.a.  I thought I was being clever by pounding my chicken flat and wrapping it around my filling instead of trying to cut a pocket into my chicken and stuffing it, but that wasn’t easy either.
  The flavors in this are great, but unless you’re really looking to impress somebody with your “I can put food inside of other food” skills, I’d suggest just using the filling as a topping and calling it good. 
 But then, I’m a shiftless good-for-nothing in the kitchen.
  Here’s what you need:
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3-4)
8 oz  mushrooms, finely chopped
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c hazelnuts, roughly chopped*
coconut oil/olive oil/butter
1/2 c chicken stock
1/4 c dijon mustard
2 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
*I couldn’t find any shelled hazelnuts, so I used almonds.  Shiftless I tell you.
  Start your oven pre-heating to 400 degrees.  In a large pan, heat up a Tbsp or so of your fat (coconut oil, olive oil, butter…I used coconut oil because we were out of olive oil and low on butter) and saute your onion and garlic.  When your onions have softened, add your mushrooms and allow them to cook until they release their juices, and those juices have evaporated.  This might take a while, so if you’re going the not-so-crazy route and cooking your chicken without stuffing it, move on to the next step while they cook.  If you’re determined to stuff your chicken, you’ll have to wait until they’re done.  Once the mushrooms are cooked, add your nuts to the stuffing.  Set this aside.
  Crazy chicken stuffers, either click on through to the original recipe for the how-to on the actual stuffing…or pound your chicken flat and tie it around your stuffing with twine.  Sane/lazy folk, skip all that and toss a little bit (another Tbsp-ish) of your fat in a skillet and warm it up.  Crazies, once you’re done stuffing/pounding/cursing you need that heated fat too.  Salt and pepper your chicken breasts and brown them on each side.  Place them on a cookie sheet and finish cooking them in the oven.  Check them after around 20 minutes with a probe thermometer to make sure you’ve hit 165.  Chicken stuffers, be warned, your crazy chicken-stuffing ways make it a lot harder to get an accurate probe reading.  Mushrooms don’t hold heat the same way meat does, so make sure your thermometer is in your chicken, not your stuffing.
  While your chicken cooks in the oven, add the ingredients from the second ingredient grouping to the skillet you just browned your chicken in.  Scrape up any yummy brown bits that may be stuck to it.  This is your pan gravy.  Heat it through and let it evaporate just enough to thicken.  If you’re like me, even if you did stuff the chicken, there is some left over stuffing.  I mixed my pan gravy right into this so none of my mushrooms went to waste!
  Allow your chicken to rest for around 10 minutes after removing it from the oven, slice and top with pan gravy.
  Like I said, this was a pain.  I won’t be on the lookout for more “stuffed” recipes any time soon.  The flavors worked really well together though, so I’m sure I’ll be finding other, less work-intensive ways to combine the same basic ingredients.
  We made the mistake of putting the strawberries in G’s reach when we made this, so he gorged himself on those and then wasn’t particularly interested in eating anything else, but he at least claimed he liked this.  Next time I try it I definitely won’t be stuffing it, so who knows, maybe I’ll actually make the effort to crack some hazelnut shells and try those….

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