Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

Back to sort of nice weather today?  At least it was sunny and didn't rain.  I'd like to thank Mother Nature for being awesome for ensuring that the weather matches my meal plan!  That's what I call team work.

So tonight I tried a recipe (new) from the Hatch Mott McDonald cookbook.  This is a custom made cookbook that is compiled of recipes from employees of HMM-a global consulting engineering firm.  The great part is that the profits went to Engineers Without Borders!!! It's a win win; I get new recipes and EWB help build wells and infrastructure in 3rd world countries!

So tonight I made a stuffed chicken recipe!  I have never stuffed anything, so I was worried.  But I thought about it logically and figured I could do it.

What You'll Need
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(unripened) goats cheese
Italian seasonings; basil, garlic salt, oregano
Salt & Pepper

Use as much, or as little goat cheese as you like.  I LOVE goat cheese, so I used a fair amount.  I stuck it in a bowl and microwaved it for about 20 seconds to soften it up.  Then I sprinkled garlic salt, oregano, and basil and stirred until mixed.  I also used a bit of Club House pre-mixed Italiano seasoning.

Thaw your chicken before hand.  I usually don't defrost my chicken all the way, especially if I need to cut it into pieces (think stirfry), because chicken is WAY easier (safer) to cut when it's still slightly frozen.  I cut my chicken breasts in half horizontally to create 4 pieces.  Then I butterflied the chicken and lightly pounded it out.

 Once the chicken was pounded out I spooned the cheese onto the middle of each piece.  Then I wrapped the chicken around the cheese.  Ideally I would have like to tied the chicken to form nicer rolls, but most of the pieces were long enough to wrap around.  I found this step almost like filling up a burrito.  Don't be tempted to over stuff, or else you won't be able to close it up!  Here's me happily stuffing away!
Once you've stuffed all your chicken pieces, place them on a foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with more seasoning (whatever combo you decided to use!). Then throw the chicken in a 400 degree pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Thirty minutes might be a touch long (I feel like it was for my 4 chicken breast halves 20-25 probably would have been fine) Once the 30 minutes was up, my chicken wasn't browned on top, so I turned the oven to broil and moved the chicken to the top rack to brown for about 5 minutes. It made them look much nicer.
 As the chicken was cooking I prepared the rest of my meal. Asparagus, again! I forgot to talk about a very helpful tip when cooking asparagus last time. It's sometimes difficult to figure out how much of the asparagus spear you should get rid of. Here's my trick. Take an average spear and hold onto each end, then gently bend. 
Where the bend naturally occurs is where you should trim.  Don't do this for each piece, but use it as a guide to cut the entire bunch.  Works every time, and you'll never end up with woody ends!

Into the oven goes the chicken (left)  I prepare the super easy asparagus on the right.  Tinfoil lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake and enjoy! 
Finally I put my pasta on (Lipton's Sidekicks). 
Here is what the lovely finished product looked like!

Ty & I discussed the pros and cons of this meal.  Asparagus-delish as always!  Chicken, OK.  Ty felt it was a little bland.  I think the next time I make it I might roast garlic and add only roasted garlic to the goat cheese.  It will give it a more intense flavour!  We also decided that a creamy garlic pasta was not the way to go with this meal.  It was too heavy and didn't add any zing.  I suggested that next time we make the pasta with a tomato based, marinara sauce for more zip.  That will also give me a way to get more veggies in!

Overall a decent meal, with a few learning curves as to what should be paired with it!
What would you pair with this yummy chicken?

PS-I gotta shout out my lil sis Jill @ envirocraftiness for helping me out with my blog tonight!  We had a very brief telephone convo about buttons, when my phone died and I left her hanging-SORRY!  Needless to say, I figured it out (see my 2 new buttons!??!)  Thanks to both Jill and Kristine who have featured me!  Feelin the bloggy love!


Jill said...

I know. I'm awesome! :) Your own button is next. And after that, a customized banner (which is actually very easy!!)

Jill said...

Also, this looks very much like my supper last night. But not really. I made balsamic salmon, asparagus-I do it pretty much the way you do, but pan-fry it, and made a garlic cream sauce for some pasta, which could have used more garlic, and I usually put parm in it too, but didn't because we didn't have any!