Monday, July 20, 2009

Goat Cheese, Basil, and Sun-Dried Tomato-Stuffed Chicken

Two weekends ago when we traveled out of state, I randomly grabbed a few cookbooks from home to keep myself occupied on the drive. Ultimately, it was my little boy who kept me the most occupied throughout the trip, but during the few minutes that he actually napped, I got to peruse a couple of the cookbooks.

I love it when I rediscover a cookbook I haven't used for a while, like Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2008. Earlier this year I made this shrimp from the cookbook, which Joe and I absolutely loved. On the opposite page from that recipe, I found this gem. And I couldn't wait to try it. (In fact, I think I bookmarked half of the book to try in the future!)

I'd never cooked chicken in a foil packet before, and I was curious how it would turn out. I couldn't believe how moist and flavorful it was. Because I used goat cheese instead of feta, the finished product reminded me a lot of a dish called Chicken Bryan, my favorite thing to order at my favorite Italian restaurant. It has all the same flavors as that dish does: lemon, basil, sun-dried tomato, goat cheese.

Joe and I were both very impressed with how delicious this was and how simple it was to prepare. I'll definitely be making this one again!

Goat Cheese, Basil, and Sun-Dried Tomato-Stuffed Chicken
Source: adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2008, original recipe found here

2-3 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, thinly sliced
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh basil (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Combine tomatoes, cheese, 2 teaspoons chopped basil, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.

2. Place chicken breast halves between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and pound each piece to an even thickness using a meat mallet or small heavy skillet. Cut a horizontal slit through one side of each chicken breast half to form a deep pocket. Stuff 1/4 cup cheese mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

3. Fold 4 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil in half crosswise. Open foil; place 1 tablespoon butter on half of each foil sheet. Lay one stuffed chicken breast half on top of each portion of butter. Place 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind on top of each stuffed chicken breast half, and drizzle each serving with chicken broth. Fold foil over chicken, and tightly seal edges. Place packets on a baking sheet.

4. Bake packets at 425° for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand for 5 minutes. Unfold packets carefully, and thinly slice each chicken breast half. Garnish each serving with sliced basil, if desired. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

Cara said...

Sounds perfect! That's one of my favorite restaurants too....I usually get Chicken Bryan or Chicken Rosa Maria. So yummy!