Monday, September 3, 2007

Goat Cheese Inspired

A couple of weekends ago we had my college roommate, Meg, and her new hubby, Pat down for the weekend. Since they are from DC we had to find the coolest restaurant in town and decided to take them to Red Room for tapas. (We're secretly trying to convince them to move down to Raleigh and wanted to show them Raliegh has some cool places too.) While at Red Room I ordered a fried eggplant with goat cheese and fell in love with the cheese. Lately, I've also discovered I don't hate blue cheese like I thought. So, after I bought 3 lbs of chicken on sale I searched Cooking Light for a 5 star chicken recipe and I stumbled upon Artichoke Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken. Yeah I know it didn't take me very long to find something good...starting with the A's.

The ingredients sat in my fridge for a week and finally after a particularly very stressful week, I made this for dinner on Sunday. My pieces of chicken we're thick enough to stuff, so I used my meat mallet for the very first time in almost a year since we recieved it as a wedding gift to thin the chicken out a little bit more. Then, I wraped the chicken around the stuffing.

I was also supposed to save the artichoke juice from the can for the sauce, but didn't remember. I used a combination of chicken stock and white wine for the base of the sauce. After cooking the chicken in the pan, and making the sauce, I added the leftover stuffing mix for extra artichoke and creamyness from the goat cheese. I served with garlic mashed potates and salad. Needless to say, Ben was pretty impressed for a Sunday night dinner.

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken (Cooking Light)

1 (14-ounce) can artichoke bottoms
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat or feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped chives, divided
1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind, divided object2=" ?
8 (4-ounce) skinned, boned chicken breasts halves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Drain artichokes in a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid. Coarsely chop artichoke bottoms. Combine artichokes, cheese, 2 tablespoons chives, 1 teaspoon thyme, and 1 teaspoon lemon rind in a medium bpwl; stir well.

Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff about 1/4 cup artichoke mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle chicken with pepper.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 chicken breasts, and sauté 6 minutes on each side or until chicken is done. Remove chicken form skillet. Set aside; keep warm. Repeat procedure with 1 teaspoon oil and remaining chicken breats. Add reserved artichoke liquid, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon rind to skillet. Combine cornstarch and lemon juice; stir well. Add to skillet. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Return chicken to skillet. Cover and simmer 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Spoon sauce over chicken. Top with 2 tablespoons chives.