There’s a reason why restaurants become chains…because the original restaurant was good. I’m usually not a big fan of chain restaurants, mainly because I like to support locally owned restaurants. I love when I can talk to the owner and see the excitement on their face when they talk about their food. But sometimes, I do eat at chain restaurants, and when I do I have a few faves. For instance, Carraba’s is an Italian restaurant that the hubs and I enjoy from time to time. Our mutually favorite dish is the Chicken Bryan. I’ve recreated it quite a few times. It’s simple and yummy. It’s a grilled chicken breast with goats cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, served over fettuccine alfredo. How can you go wrong with that combo? Which got me thinking…what if I took these fabulous ingredients and re-created them into a bite size appetizer? So I tried it tonight and was not disappointed. I hope you try them and enjoy them.
Serving Size-24 bites
1 1/2 pounds of Skinless, Boneless Chicken breasts-sprinkled with salt, pepper and garlic powder
4 oz. Plain Goats Cheese-Room Temperature
4 oz. Cream Cheese-Room Temperature
4 oz. Shredded Mozzarella
1 Cup Italian Bread Crumbs
6 oz Sun-Dried Tomatoes packed in Oil, Drained and Chopped Fine
Lightly coat a grill pan with olive oil and grill chicken breasts until done. I had skinny chicken breasts and they only took about 2-3 minutes per side. Just make sure that the juices are running clear before you pull them off. Allow chicken to rest for at least 5 minutes before you shred it. I used a fork and knife to shred to the consistency of NC bbq. In the meantime, place all cheese in one bowl. Chop the Sun Dried tomatoes and add to cheese. Combine well before adding in the chicken. Fold in the chicken. The heat of the chicken will help to combine everything. Form mixture into bite sized balls. (About the size of a sausage ball) I found that squeezing them a little helped with the consistency. Roll the balls into Italian bread crumbs. Coat well and sit to the side. Once balls are rolled let sit for about 2 minutes. At the same time, bring a large frying pan with about 2 inches of canola oil to a nice hot. Medium-to High heat depending on your stove. You want to make sure that when you drop in the first ball that it immediately sizzles. Otherwise they’ll be greasy. I kept the oil hot and it took me 3 batches to heat them. Remember they are already fully cooked. You are just browning the outside. Depending on how hot your oil is, it will take about 1 minute per side. Don’t overcook like I did my last batch. I added a little extra shredded mozzarella at the end. It’s hard for me to hold back on the cheese. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm and enjoy!