Really…is there anything you can’t do with chicken?  Know some key cooking techniques and you can make a great chicken recipe with just about anything.  Here, along with a couple boneless chicken breasts, I happen to have some fontina cheese, a tomota and a zucchini laying around, along with some hunger, and about 30 minutes later a recipe for Chicken Fontina was born.  Fontina is a great cheese to cook with.  It melts really well, and has a subtle nutty flavor that goes great with a ton of ingredients.  Here I use it to top some seared chicken, served with a light sauce, over some angle hair pasta.  The recipe is flavorful, pretty quick and easy and super satisfying.  Hope you enjoy it!

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success
To make the best Chicken Fontina, just follow these few simple steps:

  1. Chicken recipes like this one, required you to do a quick sear on both sides of the chicken, on the stove top, and then move the chicken into the oven.  Because  you are cooking twice, it’s possible to dry out the chicken, so make sure to use high heat to sear…that will leave the center undercooked until you put it into the oven, to finish cooking with all the other ingredients.
  2. The vegetables in this dish carry a lot of the flavor, so use fresh, quality ones.  I use tomato and zucchini, but they aren’t up to par in your market, use something else…they can easily we swapped out.  You should make sure to not overcook them…or they’ll just get mushy and get lost in the dish. 
  3. As with any pasta recipe, make sure to start tasting the pasta about a minute before the package suggests it will be cooked, and remove it from the water right when it’s al dente, and then finish it in the sauce

RECIPE FOR CHICKEN FONTINA
Ingredients (for 2)

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Fontina cheese – enough to cover the breasts
  • ~12 cherry tomato halved
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ lbs angel hair pasta

Making the Chicken Fontina

  • You may want to start by pounding out the chicken breasts just slightly, so they are more uniform thickness.  That will make cooking them through easier to do. 
  • Bring a pot of salted water to the boil to cook the angle hair pasta
  • Pre-heat your over to 400 degrees
  • Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper
  • Heat a sauté pan, large enough for both chicken breasts to high temperature, and then coat the bottom with olive oil
  • Add the chicken and sear on the one side for 2 – 3 minutes, until browned
  • Turn the chicken over to sear the other side
  • After about 1 minute add the fontina cheese to the top of both chicken breasts
  • Add the wine to the pan, and reduce by half
  • Add the chicken stock, zucchini and tomato the pan (everything has been over high heat), and once it is simmering, move the entire pan into the oven
  • Put the angle hair pasta into the water to cook
  • Remove the chicken after 5 – 7 minutes (once the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees), and remove the chicken breasts, and put the sauce over high heat to reduce further
  • Once the pasta is cooked, at it to the sauce, season with salt & pepper & toss to combine
  • Turn the heat off, add the basil and the parmesan cheese, again toss to combine
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if needed
  • Plate up the angle hair with the chicken on top…and enjoy!

Wine recommendation: I really like serving a California chardonnay with this Chicken Fontina recipe.  The nuttiness in the cheese with go very well with the oaky chardonnay, and the fairly subtle flavors in the wine won’t overpower the generally milder flavors in the chicken and sauce.  Enjoy!

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