How to Stuff Chicken Breasts
Looking for a light and flavorful entree that looks very fancy but is really easy to make? Well, this recipe is for you. Tarragon is a wonderful French herb that tastes a little bit like mild licorice.
It brings a wonderful spring like freshness to the dish. If you cannot find tarragon or do not like it, feel free to substitute any herbs that you enjoy – sage, dill, thyme or marjoram would be nice choices.
Having the goat cheese at room temperature speeds up the cooking process. Make sure that you take both the chicken and the cheese out of the refrigerator at least 45 minutes before you plan to cook.
Update: 1/16/11 : We prepared 12 stuffed chicken breasts over the weekend for a dinner party arranged by my youngest daughter. She invited 4 of her close friends over for a sleep-over and we invited her friend’s parents. We prepped the chicken in the afternoon so it would be an easy dinner.
The adults were served chicken breasts, asparagus risotto and my oldest daughter’s special carrot dish. The kids enjoyed homemade fried chicken with french fries.
I made a few changes to the original recipe but that’s what makes this dish so great. There are lots of ingredients you can change depending on what’s in season and what you have on hand.
So for example, I sautéed up a couple of diced garlic cloves and added them to the goat cheese mixture. We also changed the sauce by using a commercial apricot jam instead of the peach chutney and did without the rosemary and garlic.
Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese
4 oz. of fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon chopped
4 boneless chicken breasts, at room temperature
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 oz. red wine
2 tablespoons peach chutney
1 tsp fresh thyme minced
1 tsp fresh rosemary minced
2 cups homemade chicken stock, reduced in half (chicken glaze)*
1 bulb of roasted garlic mashed
1 Puck of *Chicken Demi Glace is roasted chicken stock that has been reduced down to a glace. Professional chefs prepare demi glaces and chicken glaces all the time for making sauces. To learn more about chicken glazes and how to use them, check out Jus de Poulet Lie Gold.
How To Prepare At Home
In a bowl, combine the goat cheese with chopped tarragon and season with salt and pepper. With a sharp knife, cut a slit in the side of each breast to form a pocket. Stuff each breast with goat cheese mixture and seal with a toothpick. Salt and pepper the breasts.
Heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat in a sauté pan with enough room for all 4 breasts. Sauté 4 to 5 minutes on one side until lightly browned. Flip over and sauté an additional 3 to 4 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meat (not the filling) reaches 165°F.
Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Sauté shallots in olive oil for 3 minutes until translucent. Deglaze pan with wine and reduce to an essence. Add chutney, thyme, rosemary, chicken stock, roasted garlic and reduce until sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon. Salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon sauce over chicken breasts and serve.
Reluctant Gourmet’s Tips
To roast garlic, sprinkle the bulb with a little olive oil and white wine, salt and pepper, wrap it in tin foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for approximately one hour.
Remember to remove the toothpicks before serving or at least warn your guests they are there. Nasty surprises at the dinner table are no fun for anyone.
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