Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 cup dry herb stuffing
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dry basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Cut chicken into bite-size chunks. Place butter or margarine in a glass pie plate and microwave on high 1 minute, or until melted.
Put dry stuffing on a piece of wax paper and crush with a rolling pin. Add cheese, basil and thyme; mix. Dip chicken chunks into melted butter and then roll in stuffing mixture.
Arrange coated chicken in a single layer in a 2-quart rectangular glass dish. Cover with wax paper and microwave on high 3 minutes.
Using a fork, move less-done chicken to the edges of the dish. Re-cover and microwave on high 3 to 4 minutes, or until chicken reaches 165∞F as measured with a food thermometer. Let stand 2 minutes before serving.
Serving suggestion: To make a complete meal, accompany the dish with side dishes of rice or potatoes and a green vegetable.
Fact BoxFast Family Dinners for the Rush Hour
It's that frantic time of day - after work, after school, after day care, and after sports events - when you have to get dinner on the table. Overwhelming! It's more than enough to drive you to the fast food lane.
But relax! You own a microwave oven! In mere minutes, you can zap a nutritious, home-cooked, family-friendly dinner - even if the meat is still in the freezer when you get home.
The microwave oven has been called one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. Over 90 percent of homes in America have at least one. In fact, if you have ever been without one for a few days, you find out just how much you rely on it. But most folks are using theirs only for reheating leftovers, defrosting food or making popcorn.
Loyalists testify that the microwave is great for cooking ground meats, poultry, and vegetables - three items that can make a fast, family dinner. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would like to add "safe" to that. Microwave ovens cook food to temperatures hot enough to kill bacteria, but they can cook food unevenly and leave "cold spots" where harmful bacteria survive.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), not cooking food to high enough temperatures to destroy bacteria is one of the top two causes of foodborne illness. For this reason, it is important to use a food thermometer to verify that foods reach USDA-recommended temperatures.