Chicken breasts are often part of our week-night menu, so I’m constantly searching for new ways to prepare them. I adapted this recipe from Cooking New American, a compilation of Fine Cooking recipes that never seems to leave my kitchen. Dinner was ready in less than 30 minutes, with an aura of sophistication and great flavors. Not a bad to ending for a very frantic Wednesday…
CHICKEN BREASTS STUFFED WITH GOAT CHEESE AND SUNDRIED TOMATOES
(adapted from Fine Cooking)
3 oz. fresh goat cheese
1 Tbs. milk
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 Tbs. chopped sundried tomatoes
fresh oregano leaves (or herbs of your choice), minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
In a small bowl, mash the goat cheese and milk together until smooth. Mix in the garlic, red pepper flakes, sundried tomatoes, and the oregano. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
On the thickest side of each breast, cut a long pocket. Using your fingers, stuff the goat cheese mixture inside, closing by pressing the flesh together. If you want, close with a toothpick.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken on one side until golden brown, 5 to 6 min. Turn the breasts over, season with salt and pepper, and set a small lid on top of them (use a lid that is too small to cover the whole pan, but large enough to enclose the meat). Continue to sauté until the chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 more minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a warm serving plate. De-glaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any sticky bits until the liquid reduces to a glossy syrup. Drizzle the reduction over the chicken and serve.
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Comments: Joanne Weir, the author of the original recipe, says that “this recipe is fun to play with.” She definitely has a point: just keep the basic method of thinning the goat cheese with a little milk, then flavor this mixture in any way that you desire. The presence of the filling, and the fact that the meat cooks under a lid for most of the time, prevents the delicate chicken from drying out.
Sometimes I browse forums in which single guys and girls with little cooking experience ask advice on what to prepare for that special someone coming over for dinner. This recipe is a perfect choice: simple, elegant, and light. A little pasta, a green salad, not much else is needed. Of course, wine, candles, and good music… 😉
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