Chicken Stuffed with Garlic and Goat Cheese
As promised, here I am with new recipes to share! And what a better way to start this year's posts than with a recipe involving goat cheese??? I love, LOVE this cheese, it is so creamy and tangy, one of my very favorite cheeses of all!
I had high hopes when I first spotted this recipe, and it certainly did not disappoint. Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Garlic and Herbed Goat Cheese is a very flavorful and delightful dish. The chicken was moist and perfectly cooked, and although the goat cheese mixture did escape a little from the insides I still did not complain because it created a wonderful sauce on the bottom of the pan, in which the chicken was sitting in, so it was completely infused with the flavors, inside out.
The recipe comes from Cooking Light and is very easy to prepare. Chicken is stuffed with yummy, creammy deliciousness, then browned on the stove top and finished in the oven.
Perfection, so flavorful, so juicy, so good! No need to say it will show up in our tables many times to come!
My notes and a tip before you read on: I had plain goat cheese at home (prefer buying plain, this way I can flavor it however I want!!), so I chopped some fresh basil, parsley, and rosemary and mixed into the cheese. No need to fuss here, use the herbs you have at home and I assure you it will turn out great! (I wouldn't however use dried herbs for this, I believe fresh would be best, but if that's all you have on hand, then why not try, right?!) Also, I made half recipe.
My tip for this recipe: go ahead and roast two garlic heads and save the other one for later use. I like to do this because I love roasted garlic, as it adds lots of flavor to savory dishes and having it ready is very convenient. After roasting it, let cool; then squeeze the garlic out of the papery skin, place the cloves laying them flat on a small zipbag and freeze it. This way when you need/want some roasted garlic they will be ready for you. Plus, laying them flat into one layer in the bag helps a lot, as you can just "break" apart (from the sort of "garlic slab" you made) the amount of garlic you need at the time without needing to defrost the whole thing!
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Garlic and Herbed Goat Cheese
(Adapted from Cooking Light, October 2007)
1 whole head garlic
1/3 cup goat cheese with herbs (3 ounces), left at room temperature to soften
6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts halves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grounded black pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cut a small "lid" from the bottom of the garlic (to facilitate squeezing later) head, wrap it in aluminum foil and roast for about 1 hour. Let cool, squeeze garlic cloves and discard skins.
In a small bowl combine garlic pulp and goat cheese (plain cheese and herbs if you make it like me!), set aside.
Make a horizontal cut into the thickest part of the chicken breast to form a sort of "pocket" and stuff 3 to 4 teaspoons of cheese into each breast. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large skillet, add chicken and cook 3 minutes, until browned. Turn chicken over and put skillet in the oven, bake at 350F for about 20 minutes (start checking around 16 minutes so it doesn't overcook), or until a thermometer register 165F. Let it rest 5 minutes, serve and be happy!!
Yield: 6 servings