Vegetable-Stuffed Chicken served with Mediterranean Rice Salad
1 cup (250 ml) long-grain brown rice
2 cups (500 ml) water
8 tbsp (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 tbsp (60 ml) lemon juice, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped rosemary leaves
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
½ red onion, sliced into thin half-moons
½ Japanese eggplant, sliced into thin rounds
1 medium tomato, halved and thinly sliced
½ cup (125 ml) crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp (5 ml) dried dill
½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard
4 cups (1 L) baby arugula
2 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
½ cup (125 ml) sliced green olives
1 English cucumber, diced
- Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine rice and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer until rice is tender and liquid is fully absorbed, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove lid and fluff rice with a fork.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil, 1 tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice, 2 minced garlic cloves and rosemary.
- Place chicken on a cutting board and cut five crosswise slits into each breast, taking care not to cut all the way through. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Drizzle rosemary mixture over chicken breasts, making sure mixture gets into slits. Season with salt and pepper. Stuff each slit with a slice each of zucchini, red onion, eggplant and tomato. Sprinkle crumbled feta over top and transfer to oven. Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make dressing for Mediterranean Rice Salad. In a medium bowl, combine remaining 5 tbsp (75 ml) olive oil, 3 tbsp (45 ml) lemon juice and minced garlic clove with dill, cumin, mustard and a good pinch each of salt and pepper and whisk until well combined.
- Transfer rice to a large bowl, along with arugula, green onion, olives and cucumber. Drizzle with some dressing and toss gently to combine. Add additional dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper, as desired.
- To serve, divide Mediterranean Rice Salad between serving plates and top with a stuffed chicken breast. Serve warm.