4 tablespoons butter
8 ounces mushrooms ; sliced
6 cloves garlic ; minced (divided for mushrooms and sauce)
4 tablespoons fresh parsley ; chopped (divided for mushrooms and sauce)
salt and pepper to taste
4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
8 slices mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese ; divided for chicken and sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 400
Melt butter in a large oven proof pan or skillet over medium heat. Add garlic (4 cloves) and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute).
Add mushroom, salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Cook while stirring occasionally until soft. Set aside and allow to cook while preparing your chicken.
Pat breasts dry with a paper towel. Season with salt, pepper, onion powder and dried parsley. Rub each piece to evenly coat in seasoning.
Horizontally slice a slit through the thickest part of each breast to form a pocket. Place 2 slices of mozzarella into each breast pocket.
Divide the mushroom mixture into four equal portions and fill each breast with the mushroom mixture (leave the juices in the pan for later).
Top the mushroom mixture with 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese per breast. Seal with two or three toothpicks near the opening to keep the mushrooms inside while cooking.
Heat the same pan the mushrooms were in along with the pan juices (the garlic butter will start to brown and take on a nutty flavor). Add the chicken and sear until golden.
Flip and sear on the other side until golden. Cover pan and continue cooking in preheated oven for 20 additional minutes or until completely cooked through the middle and no longer pink.
Serve along with the pan juices with pasta, rice or steamed vegetables.
To make optional cream sauce:
Transfer the chicken to a warm plate, keeping all juices in the pan.
Fry the garlic (2 cloves) in the leftover pan juices until fragrant (about 1 minute). Reduce heat to low and add the mustard and half and half.
Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and add in 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese. Allow the sauce to simmer until the cheese has melted slightly.
If the sauce is too runny for your liking, add the cornstarch/water mixture into the center of the pan and mix through to combine into the sauce. It will immediately begin to thicken.
Season with a little salt and pepper to your taste. Add in the parsley (2 tablespoons) and the chicken back into the pan to serve.