Grilled Chicken Stuffed With Ramps & Feta Pesto

img_5049-1Last week, I was delighted to share withyou a pesto that was made of wild leeks, otherwise known as ramps. I’ve been enjoying the tub of  pesto tossed with some pasta for a quick lunch, I’ve dabbled and added some crumbled Feta to make another pasta dish and today, that same pesto get’s stuffed into a chicken breast and grilled.

Wild leeks are also known as ramps. At the market, they look like long, tall blades of grass. They taste like a cross between scallions and garlic and if you can’t find them in your area, you may substitute with scallions (green parts) or chives and a clove of garlic.

I’ve tried this pesto with both walnuts and almonds and in both cases, the pesto is wonderful. You decide, depending on your mood or preference.

This dish came about rather quickly, last Wednesday evening after returning from an all day Greek wine tasting. I had been nibbling all day, sipping  and sampling but when I got home I realized that I had no dinner plans.

The pesto was staring at me in the fridge but I didn’t want pasta, the Spanakorizo “a la minute” was another leftover to be dealt with and I remembered that Feta tasted rather well in the wild leeks mixture. Thus was born the idea of stuffing the chicken breast with a ramps and Feta pesto.

This dish hardly warrants a recipe but it’s tasty enough to deserve a post and to be shared. When choosing a chicken breast, opt for a plump breast, say approx 1 inch thick in the middle so that you’ll have little cause for worry about piercing a hole in either side of the breast.

img_5054Grilled Chicken Stuffed With Ramps & Feta Pesto

(per serving)

1 plump, boneless and skinless chicken breast

sea salt

ground black pepper

some sweet paprika

2 tsp. of Wild Leek Pesto

1 heaping Tbsp. of crumbled Feta

  1. Pre-heat your gas or charcoal grill. Brush off any residue on he grill surface and then wipe/treat with a towel that’s been dipped in vegetable oil (to lubricate your grill surface).
  2. Wash and pat dry your chicken breast(s). Using a sharp knife, cut open a pocket on one side of the breast, being mindful not to create an opening on any other side of the breast. Reserve and wash your hands.
  3. Mix the Feta into the Wild Leek Pesto and then carefully spoon into the cavity you created in the chicken breast. Push the filling inside to fill the entire cavity evenly. Secure/close the hole by stitching it with one toothpick.
  4. Season your chicken breast(s) with salt, pepper and some paprika and place on your pre-heated grill. Reduce the heat to a medium-high (you should be able to count up to 6 with your hand over the grill) and grill each side for about 6 minutes a side.
  5. Take off the grill and allow to rest for about five minutes before serving. Remove the toothpick and serve alongside some Spanakorizo “a la Minute”.

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© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

© 2009,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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50 Comments for “Grilled Chicken Stuffed With Ramps & Feta Pesto”

says:

I have nothing intelligent to say… I have just been looking and reading all your posts I’ve missed from the stuffed eggplant with feta to the grilled calamari which really left me with a serious longing to your current post. As I’ve said before, it is a foodie’s delight to come here. Thanks for sharing Peter.

Leslie

says:

Looks great Pete!.. I made the leek pesto that was in the F&D mag…it was great…unfortunatly, we can’t get ramps here…I just used leeks and added a clove of garlic….yummy!

says:

Ooooh now that pesto looks fetatastic!!
Yet another great recipe Peter – that chicken looks really good too!

says:

I bet there was not a dry piece of chicken anywhere on that plate….succulent, juice chicken with the lovely pesto….bliss!!!

says:

Peter, you have again added the “oomph” factor to Greek cooking with this wonderfully inspired dish. I’ve seen ramps about but have never really experimented with them…thanks for sharing this delightful and easy recipe.

says:

Thanks for explaining ‘ramps’…I’ve seen them in so many recipes lately and was starting to feel not too savvy since I was not familiar with them. I guess they haven’t hit my markets.

says:

this looks fabulous

and i just love the colours of the different items arranged so well that they blend in with each other

says:

I have bith some arugula pesto and garlic scape pesto in the freezer that might substitute well for the wild leek which so far I have not seen available..

says:

you know I can cook right? but I have to admit I never thought of using toothpicks to close up the breast. how dumb is that? I’ve always had such a hard time with stuffing poultry & beefs–most cases I just used cooking twine. So glad you posted this recipe Peter; I def learned something new.

says:

i keep hearing scary things about ramps, but i don’t see how this couldn’t be delicious. and an all day greek wine tasting? sign me up for that! :)

says:

Having tried ramps for the first time not too long ago, your recipe has me wishing I could have more. I’ve only seen them at one vendor here : ( Great idea to make a pesto with them. Sounds fabulous.

says:

I love stuffing chicken breasts, it certainly add flavour from the inside ;) But I had never thought of stuffing them with pesto, what a great idea! I’ll do this coon.
Thanks Peter!

says:

I love stuffing chicken breasts, it certainly add flavour from the inside ;) But I had never thought of stuffing them with pesto, what a great idea! I’ll do this soon.
Thanks Peter!

says:

Gosh, I haven’t stuffed chicken breasts in a very long while… these look gorgeous. And I was just thinking to myself that the local ramps looked gorgeous. Better scoop some up while they’re still available!

says:

Those are some plump chicken breasts. Seriously I would hate to be the farmer who had to take down that chicken. Bet his beak is mounted above the fireplace too.

Great use of feta for the pesto because I could see that tasting perfect.

Nicely done!

p.s. verdict from TS on the photos??

says:

Your magic kitchen wand is in full swing!!! I love it when normal and kind of boring ingredients become so special together! Great job chico :D

says:

None of my dishes warrant a recipe either, but you’re nice enough to include one. We don’t have ramps out west, but we do have lots of wild onions and garlic mustard.

says:

I love pesto! I’m a vegetarian, so I’m going to make something else with that pesto :)

We adapted your dill rice for another dish. Will post it soon!

says:

I can’t wait to try ramps. I haven’t looked for them yet, but I know the farmers market in my town which opens this weekend has them!

I love the feta pesto, I am going to make that too!

Thanks for posting!

says:

Stuffed chicken breast is one of my FAVORITE things to make! This version looks incredible– making this would give me a good reason to finally try ramps!

says:

I just discovered ramps/wild leeks this season. A feta and wild leek stuffing sounds like a great idea! It looks like you got a good amount of stuffing in there!

says:

The second I saw the chicken spilling pesto everywhere, I had an “I need to have that immediately” sort of reaction. Awesome pictures!

says:

I still have been unsuccessful at finding ramps, so I don’t know if I’ll ever make a ramp pesto, but I love the cheese and pesto combination in the chicken breast. I was almost going to do something similar to this for my mother’s birthday dinner this weekend.

michael bash

says:

Thank you for finally telling me/us what “ramps” are. I hope you’re correct. Unfortunately, ramps are not available in Greece. Sorrow.