Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Garlic & Goat Cheese stuffed Chicken Breasts

So I don't know about you, but bone-in chicken breast are my favorite way for this everyday poultry. Boneless cutlets are great and certainly easy, but can lack more than one level of flavor....and a whole roasted chicken can be gorgeous but is full of work. So the chicken breast in the way to go in our house and they are a lot easier than you might think... 

For this method, I first created a blend to stuff the chicken with using some herbed goat cheese (the kind that comes herbed already in the package, though plain would work just as well), 1 tsp parsley, some lemon juice, zest from that lemon and some roasted garlic cloves. While you can certainly use store-bought roasted garlic, I prefer to do my own by simply placing some whole cloves into a small ramekin with olive oil and salt (I used spanish rosemary salt) and baking it for about 5-7 minutes. Then I let it cool a little and mixed it in with the cheese, etc. 

Next you want to clean the chicken breasts and then cut a deep slit in the meatier portion of the breast along the side of each one. You don't want to completely cut the meat off though, so be careful, just make a pocket that you can stuff. Now you can season the chicken's skin with some olive oil, salt, fresh cracked pepper (I use white peppercorns) and a little thyme. Then using your hands - believe me a utensil of any kind just won't work as well - you want to stuff the slit/pocket with the cheesy-goodness mixture. Fill it until it is packed in, and then if you're as gluttonous as me, fill it some more and then use a toothpick to sort of fasten it closed and prevent spillage. Ideally, you don't want to lose too much of the cheese during cooking. 

Roast the chicken in a roasting pan for about 35 minutes at 425 degrees. Keep an eye on the skin though and if it starts to look dry or like it might burn, use an olive oil mister to keep it moist. 

Served with asparagus saffron risotto. For that some tips on that recipe (just nix the fennel and replace the tomatoes with asparagus)...check out an earlier blog post here:

- Melissa

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