I admit, I just love chicken, I love all the many ways you can easily cook and prepare chicken. There's a reason the saying is "winner, winner chicken dinner," not T-bone steak dinner. Ok perhaps I just made that up, but it sounds legit, right?
What's my favorite way to fix chicken? Stuffing it full of delicious herbs, cheeses and/or veggies. This is my second stuffed chicken recipe to share with you and I already have a third planned for next week - all very different, I assure you. However, this was my first stuffed chicken recipe to make and it is a staple in the meal rotations. I've been making this for a while now, and seem to re-create it every time, and tonight, I decided to add the cranberries. Best decision of my day.
Prep time for this meal only about 20 minutes, cook time about 15 minutes. I like to serve this with a fresh salad and a rice pilaf or risotto, but I've been challenged to remove grains and add more greens so I made my garlic green beans instead.
6 ounces of fresh, creamy goat cheese (I got goat cheese with garlic and herbs already mixed in)
1 bunch fresh chives, finely chopped (Tonight I just used the dried version in my spice cabinet)
1/2 bunch of fresh parsley (flat leaf, not curly), finely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2 boneless chicken breasts (I got thin cutlets this time to help with cook time)
Balsamic Vinegar Glace (Found with salad dressings, oils, marinades)
Knife, Cutting Board
Meat Mallet (or soup can, or bottom of a glass cup... this is only if you use a thick chicken breast)
Oven safe dish
Now, I've played with various stuffing methods for chicken: creating a pocket and stuffing; stuffing and rolling; flattening, stuffing and folding in half.... I'll tell you I like the flatten and fold method best because 1) the chicken cooks faster and 2) it is most evenly dispersed through out the chicken, rather then 1/3 - 1/2 of the chicken, which is my personal preference. I want flavor in every bite, not just partially through the bird.
Set your oven to 400 degrees and let it heat up. Next take your chicken and lightly coat it in olive oil. If you have a thick chicken breast, take your meat mallet (I've previously shared my pre-mallet techniques - if you have one, use it, if not, canned goods, glass cups, any kind of blunt force object you can inflict pressure with, will work) and begin to flatten out to about 1/4 of an inch thick, at most.
Once your chicken is flattened, spread your goat cheese along the center, from side to side.
Top with dried cranberries, parsley and chives, then roll or fold the chicken breast closed.
Top with the balsamic glace and you are ready to bake! Let cook for 20 minutes.
While the chicken was baking, I sauteed some tasty garlic green beans, adding a bit of olive oil, 1 shallot and 3 chopped garlic cloves. Simply let it saute on medium heat until fragrant, then add your haricot vert green beans, let cook for about 10 minutes.
Mix up a nice salad with mixed greens, dried berries, avocado, cucumber, croutons and a honey balsamic oil dressing - then serve it all up! Mmmm mmmm mmmmm.