Carciofo (kahr-TCHOH-foh)is Italian for artichoke. There are lots of towns in Italy that have yearly artichoke festivals. This dish is inspired by those festivals. I just love artichokes and think it is a highly underused vegetable. Mostly because I think most people don't know what to do with it besides make a dip out of it. This is a little something I created that is spectacular and very filling! Wonderful flavor! This is a great low carb meal too.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a glass dish with nonstick spray. Spread out artichokes in prepared dish so they are not touching. Drizzle with 1 T. olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Place in oven for about 5-10 minutes until well heated. (You'll know because they smell amazing!) Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly then place in food processor.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 T. olive oil in a skillet and saute mushrooms; stir in leeks with a pinch of salt when mushrooms are almost done. Remove from heat. Place in food processor with baked artichokes.
Place Parmesan cheese in food processor with mushroom mixture and artichokes and process until well blended and pesto consistency.
Slice each of the 8 breast pieces along the sides to make a pocket. Stuff with the artichoke mixture. Place in glass dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Sprinkle a pinch of Italian seasoning on top of each piece of chicken. Spray chicken with nonstick spray. Bake in 375 degree F oven for 20 minutes; put Monterey Jack cheese on on top of chicken and return to oven for about 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
Nutritional Info: per portion
Total Fat: 24g/ Sat Fat: 8.8g
Total Carbs: 4.6g/ Dietary Fiber 1.9g/ Sugar 1g