I love to make this stuffed chicken recipe when I am in the mood for gourmet food but don't want to go out in order to get it.
Don't let the fancy name discourage you from doing the same! This stuffed chicken dinner is a lot easier to make than you think, and most - if not all- of the ingredients can be found at your local grocery store. (FYI - Chèvre is the French term for goat cheese. They are one and the same!)
I use really fat chicken breasts for this recipe because it makes it way easier to cut the pockets into them. The first couple of times I made this recipe, I accidentally sliced through the outer surface of the chicken. It's not the end of the world if it happens to you, but you will need to remember to place that side of the chicken down when baking it so the stuffing doesn't all ooze out. If for some reason it does ooze out, don't fret! It'll cook down into the cream sauce during the baking process, and you can just pour it over the meat when it goes on the plates. It may not look as fancy, but it will still taste just as good!
Serve these puppies with your favorite glass of white wine.
See? Gourmet dining in the comfort of your own kitchen has never been so easy!
and Macros Per Serving:
Total Time: 1 Hour
(Prep: 15 Minutes / Cook: 45 Minutes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot; peeled, cut in half lengthwise then sliced crosswise
- 1/4 cup diced dried apricots
- 2 tablespoon white wine
- 2 tablespoon sliced almonds, lightly chopped
- 6 whole wheat saltine crackers
- 1/4 teaspoon savory
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 ounces goat cheese (chèvre) room temperature
- 1 drop thyme essential oil diluted in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoon heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a small baking dish by rubbing the inside with butter. Set out three small bowls.
In a medium sized skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium. Sauté the shallots and apricots for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned and glossy. Stir them frequently so that they do not burn. Stir in the wine and keep stirring for a minute, or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
While the apricots and shallots are cooling, place the almonds, crackers, and savory in a food processor. Pulse until finely ground, then season with salt and pepper and pulse a few more times so that no large chunks remain.
Place the goat cheese in a small bowl. Fold the apricots and shallots into the goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the essential oil and stir until the cheese is consistent in color. It should be beige to light brown throughout. Set aside.
Using a sharp paring knife or other small knife, cut pockets into the chicken, starting at the thickest end where the nub of fat is located. The easiest way to do this is to use one hand to hold the breast flat against the counter while maneuvering the knife with the other hand. Keeping the blade parallel with the work surface, gently slice through the middle of the meat, stopping about a half inch from the edges, being careful not to pierce through the surface.
To stuff the chicken, hold one breast cut side up with one hand. Gently apply pressure to push the pocket open. With the other hand, use a spoon to fill the pocket with the goat cheese mixture. To push the filling all the way down to the bottom of the pocket, use your thumbs to gently push it in while holding the chicken pocket side up. You may hear some air pushing out, that is good! I find it is sometimes easier to stuff the chicken with my fingers instead of the spoon, depending on how large the chicken breast is. Keep filling and stuffing until the breast is plump, full of stuffing, and firm. Pinch shut as best as you can. Repeat with the other breast.
Line up the three bowls. In the first, add the flour and season with salt and pepper. In the second, add the egg and beat lightly. Add the cracker mixture to the third. Roll one chicken breast in the flour to coat, transfer to the egg and roll to coat, then finally roll it in the cracker mixture until completely coated. Repeat with the second breast.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same skillet you used to sauté the apricots and heat over medium-high. Brown the stuffed chicken breasts on all sides, about a minute on each side. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.
While the meat is cooking, heat a small skillet over medium. Add any remaining goat cheese filling (this includes any that fell out while you were stuffing the chicken with it), chicken stock, and heavy cream. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the chicken breasts from the oven, pour the sauce over them in the baking dish, and return to the chicken to the oven to finish baking. Do not baste.
To serve, remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board. Gently slice them, being careful not to push the stuffing out (it will be mush softer when hot!) and arrange on plates. Carefully spoon the hot sauce from the baking dish over the chicken and garnish with parsley.