Cheese Stuffed Chicken is a great tasting and elegant
dish for a dinner party.
that comes together quickly can not only look pretty, but
wow in the flavor department as well. That is, if you donít
overcook the chicken.
hereís my tip for getting moist boneless, skinless chicken
breasts: Sear first, then bake them. To do this, itís a
good idea to use a skillet thatís not nonstick but is
ovenproof. Youíll get a better sear on the chicken if itís
not nonstick. First, sear the chicken in the ovenproof
skillet and then transfer it to a preheated oven to finish
the cooking. Set your timer for about 8 minutes (for a
chicken breast thatís about 1/2-inch thick end to end).
The chicken turns out tender and juicy.
donít have an ovenproof skillet, use whatever skillet you
have on hand and have ready a small glass pan. Once the
chicken is seared, transfer it to a glass baking pan,
scraping all the pan juices into the dish. As the chicken
cooks in the oven it will create more juices. When the
chicken is done, a delicious pan sauce can be made with
those juices or pan drippings. You wonít have a lot of the
sauce, but itís full-flavored and small amount goes a long
way. If you want more sauce, double up on the chicken stock
and add an extra tablespoon or more of lemon juice to taste.
addition to a brightly flavored pan sauce, this dish gets a
tangy flavor from blue cheese. In this recipe, only 1
tablespoon is used per serving, but you can use more if you
like. You also can substitute an herbed goat cheese.
impressive flavor in this dish comes from the walnuts,
which, like many other nuts, are pricey ingredients. One way
to amp up their flavor is to toast them. Toasting the
walnuts 6 to 8 minutes intensifies their flavor. And they
look nice scattered over the chicken.
this dish with a side of rice or couscous. I like to cook
the rice with half chicken broth and half water. It also
amps the flavor of the rice. Using a fragrant rice, such as
basmati, lends another flavorful element to this dish.
Basmati, when itís cooking, has a popcorn or nutty aroma
that will make your guests wonder whatís cooking.
CHEESE STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS
4 / Preparation time: 10 minutes
time: 30 minutes
adapted this recipe from Food & Wine magazine,
substituting blue cheese for goat cheese. Only a small
amount of cheese (1 tablespoon) is used per serving, and we
found the blue cheese has a stronger and tangier taste.
Either one can be used.
cup walnut halves
cup favorite blue cheese or goat cheese
teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
garlic clove, minced
and freshly ground pepper
6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
tablespoon olive oil
tablespoons fresh lemon juice
cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
tablespoons walnut oil or canola oil
cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
rice for serving
the oven to 400 degrees.
the walnuts in a pie plate and toast them in the oven for 6
minutes, until they are fragrant. Remove them from the oven,
but leave the oven on. Let the walnuts cool, then chop them.
small bowl, mash the cheese with the lemon zest, garlic and
half of the walnuts; season with salt and pepper.
a small knife, cut a pocket in the side of each chicken
breast; keep the pocket opening as small as possible. Stuff
the chicken breasts with the cheese mixture and gently press
to flatten them.
large ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high
heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in
the skillet. Cook it over moderately high heat, turning
once, until itís browned, about 6 minutes.
the skillet to the oven and roast the chicken for 5 minutes.
the chicken breasts to a platter and keep them warm.
the lemon juice and stock to the skillet and cook over
moderately high heat, scraping up any browned bits stuck to
the pan. Simmer for 3 minutes.
in the walnut oil, parsley and the remaining chopped
walnuts. Transfer the chicken breasts to serving plates and
spoon the walnut sauce on top. Serve with steamed rice or
from Food & Wine magazine, January 2006 issue. Tested by
Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
calories (53 percent from fat), 21 g fat (4 g saturated
fat), 3 g carbohydrates, 38 g protein, 223 mg sodium, 101 mg
cholesterol, 75 mg calcium, 1 g fiber.