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Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Herb and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

Herb and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

I came upon the recipe that inspired this in my latest “Cooking Light” magazine issue. Indeed it may not be quite the “lightest” dinner ever.  Chicken – good, herbs – good, goat cheese – eh…But you know what?  Goat cheese is certainly better than stuffing it with cheddar or fontina (which I have done and loved), so if you want a stuffed chicken breast, this probably is still on the “light” side.  And hey, speaking of “light side”, I did have a light side dish.  What’s healthier than steamed asparagus?

I started this dish by digging out my seldom used and under appreciated Cuisinart mini-prep.  It has become the ugly step-child of the kitchen ever since its big brother entered the picture.  Nonetheless, it works extremely well for small applications like this.  Here, I have combined a few fresh basil leaves, some thyme, black pepper, and about 2 oz plain goat cheese.

cheese mix

Blitz it up with a tiny bit of olive oil to make it slightly more pliable.

Herbed Goat Cheese

Herbed Goat Cheese

Then move on to prepping the chicken.  I used boneless skinless chicken breasts which I then butterflied and pounded out.

Pounded Chicken

Pounded Chicken

A small cast-iron skillet is the perfect meat-pounder if you don’t own a “real” meat pounder.  Its flat, heavy, and has a large surface area.  Just don’t forget the plastic wrap!

Cast-Iron Meat Pounder

Cast-Iron Meat Pounder

Once the chicken is evenly flattened, spread the goat cheese mixture on in an even, thin layer.  Cover only 1/2 or 1/3 of the chicken so that you can fold it over to cover the cheese.

Spread the Cheese

Folded over Chicken

Folded over Chicken

Try to make sure that not too much cheese is going to melt out, although so melting is inevitable.  Luckily, the cheese doesn’t burn if it melts out, just gets oozy.

And after all that fussiness, I needed a super simple side-dish!  Have I ever mentioned how much I love my Farberware Steamer Pot?  I do, I love it.

Steamed Asparagus

Steamed Asparagus

And that’s all folks.  It turned out to be too much food, the chicken was very filling!

Lovely Springtime Dinner

Perfect Springtime Dinner

Prep Ranking: #2 – Weeknight Fare
Tastiness Grade: 6/10
– the flavor was delicious, however, the chicken was a bit tough by the time it was cooked.

Simple recipe after the break.

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Fried Herb-y Chicken Tenders

Fried Herb-y Chicken Tenders

This is a first for me.  My first official foray into deep frying.  There are of course oodles of reasons to avoid deep frying (unhealthy, messy, scary…), but the results are just so gosh-darned tasty!  I love fried chicken, but Greg doesn’t – something weird about not liking bones in his meat (same reason he’s missing out on the wonder that is BBQ Ribs).  So when I saw this recipe on the blog ErinCooks, it struck me as the perfect recipe to try.

Last night, I set about preparing the chicken and letting it marinade in its buttermilk bath overnight.  And technically, these aren’t chicken tenders, they are just large chicken breasts cut into 4 long strips.  The chicken tenders were unreasonably expensive and I was feeling frugal at the store this week.

Rosemary and Thyme

Rosemary and Thyme

The first step is to chop the herbs and onions.  Never underestimate the difference fresh herbs make.  I’m pretty bad about keeping them in the house, but I just happened to pick up some fresh, unusually lovely looking rosemary and thyme at the store.  Chop them rather finely, then combine them with the sliced onion, spices (cayenne pepper and paprika) and buttermilk.

Herbs and Onions

Herbs and Onions

The Buttermilk Bath

The Buttermilk Bath

Slice the chicken and mix it all up together in a storage container, making sure to coat and submerge the chicken thoroughly.  Because there are just two of us here, I halved the portions of chicken and buttermilk mix ingredients.  Once its all mixed together, store in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 8 hours).

After the soak

After the soak

When its dinner time, drain the chicken (don’t rinse!!).  Mix the dry breading ingredients (flour and spices) in a gallon-sized zip-top bag.  Put the drained chicken, with its herb-y goodness still stuck to it.  Coat with the flour and then its time for the jacuzzi.

The Jacuzzi

The Jacuzzi

Hot oil is a strange and beautiful beast.

Oily Swirls

Oily Swirls

Frying Chicken

Frying Chicken

I used my Le Cruset because it is heavy and holds the heat well.  I however, as is my ever impatient nature, did not let the oil heat up quite enough.  Sure, it sizzled when I threw some flour in, but the temperature wasn’t quite high enough to prevent the chicken from getting a bit greasy.  Not that I’m complaining too much…it was still absolutely delicious!  I made the accompanying creamy honey mustard dip.  It was sweet and tangy and perfect with the herb-y freshness of the chicken.

Cool and Drain

Cool and Drain

Dipping Sauce

Dipping Sauce

Up-Close and Personal

Up-Close and Personal

And on the side, steamed asparagus.  I’m not a total glutton!  Would fresh buttermilk biscuits have been better?  Oh probably, but I do have an ounce of self-control!

A Half-Way Healthy Dinner

A Half-Way Healthy Dinner

The only slight change I may make to this recipe in the future would be to add cornmeal or some Panko breadcrumbs to make the chicken a little crispier, although allowing the oil to heat up properly would help too.

Prep Ranking: #2 Weeknight Fare (a weeknight where you have perhaps a little more time than normal)
Tastiness Grading: 8 out of 10

Please visit the link for the recipe, I don’t want to take credit for a recipe that was so nicely written about somewhere else first!

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