Monday, August 11, 2008

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Artichokes, Lemon and Goat Cheese

I was a little bit disappointed with how this meal turned out, I think because I have been wanting to try this dish for so long. When I first came across it, I was pregnant, and goat cheese was off limits. Then, Andrew was born, and I was busy doing other things besides cooking. I never forgot about this recipe, though, and as soon as I got back in the kitchen full time I was still just dying to try it.

I think part of the problem with this meal was the herbed goat cheese I bought. The only kind the grocery store had was pre-blended with roasted garlic and tons of basil. Normally I would love this, but since the recipe calls for lemon zest in the filling, the basil in the goat cheese made it taste waaaaay too lemony. Also, if I were to make this again (and I probably will, because I'd like to see how it tastes with just regular goat cheese), I think I'd use artichoke hearts in water instead of the marinated ones. I understand that Cooking Light was trying to bump up the flavors so taste wasn't sacrificed in favor of healthfulness; but there was almost too much flavor in the filling. The meal did have its good points, though: The chicken was very moist; the filling was flavorful, even if it was a bit too tangy; and the boxed rice pilaf I served as a side dish was quite tasty.

Without further ado, here's a photo of my (hideously monochromatic) plate and the recipe.

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Artichokes, Lemon and Goat Cheese

Source: The Best of Cooking Light (page 213)

2 1/2 tablespoons Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 3-ounce package herbed goat cheese
4 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Cooking spray (I used olive oil)

1. Preheat oven to 375ยบ.

2. Combine first 6 ingredients; stir well.

3. Place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Top each breast half with 2 tablespoons cheese mixture; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Tuck in sides, and secure each roll with wooden picks.

4. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan, and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Wrap handle of pan with foil, and bake for 15 minutes or until chicken is done.

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