May 13, 2010

Recipe: Capo's Chicken Diablo

I usually find chicken breasts, like most poultry, bland. This dish is the exception. The breast is flattened and rolled up with a mushroom-cream cheese-spice filling and then topped with a savory, sweet mixture of brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and pecans. 

The recipe came from Capo's Cafe, an Atlanta restaurant my parents talked about but that closed in 1998, which tragically was before I really appreciated good food. Fortunately, the recipe lived on and was published in the newspaper a few years later. I've been hooked on the recipe since my aunt served it at our Christmas Eve Egg Knock throw down.

Serving Option 1: Nutty wild rice to balance out the richness of the chicken, plus a simple green veggie such as broccoli.

Serving Option 2: Served with rice pilaf, herb yeast rolls from Fresh Market, Oriental salad, and Chardonnay. This lakeside, candle-lit outdoor dinner was quite romantic, or as romantic as a meal with three girlfriends in their pj's gets.

Behind the Scenes 1: The wonder mixture: cream cheese-spice mixture with sauteed mushrooms.

Behind the Scenes 2: Get those fingers gross and roll up the stuffed breasts. It gets ugly, but you hide it a pan and cover it with sauce (no worries!).

Capo’s Chicken Diablo
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
¼ cup sherry or white wine
¼ teaspoon nutmeg to taste
8 oz. cream cheese, softened (I use 1/3 less fat)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (I leave this out; it doesn’t add much to the dish.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small skillet, add the oil. Sauté mushrooms with wine and nutmeg until the wine has evaporated and the mushrooms are softened. Set aside to cool. In a bowl, combine cream cheese, thyme, garlic salt, and oregano. Add mushrooms and stir to combine.

Pound out each chicken breast until flat. Spread with equal parts of the filling. Roll the chicken and place seam-side down on a baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the sugar, pecans, mustard, and parsley and spread on top of the chicken. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.


  1. Hey dude,

    I tried this a couple of weeks ago and it came out kind of...bizarre. I questioned the herbed cheese/sweet dessert topping combo, but thought maybe it would be interesting. It was, shall we say, too interesting. During the meal Forrest and I kept looking at each other and saying, "This is weird."


    1) We didn't have mushrooms, so I used halved green grapes instead. I figured the point was to soak up the wine.

    2) We didn't have white wine or sherry, so we used this pink Zinfandel that someone who doesn't know us well gave us, that we had no intention of ever drinking.

    3) The cream cheese is frozen along the way here, which ruins the texture.

    I think it's the green grapes/Zinfandel that did it.

    I'm trying your new hummus recipe as soon as my food processor arrives. Any day now...


  2. Oh the best. It is a great combination of favors going on. And to top it off - I made a curry cream salad dressing - another Capo's specialty.


Pretty please share your thoughts!