Friday, January 4, 2008

Baked Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Zucchini and Goat Cheese

We're talking about breasts here- chicken breasts, of course! I needed 4 bone-in chicken breasts for last night's dinner and the breasts that I picked up were much bigger than they appeared to be in the package. The 12 ounce breasts I had hunted for turned out to be well over a pound each. I used two for my recipe, and though they were enormous and took much longer than the recipe noted, they really turned out to be quite delicious. One breast served two easily so it was easily split between my husband and me, but if you plan to make the recipe, you might consider looking for the proper size!

It started with zucchini... shredded and sauteed in a bit of olive oil.

Remove the zucchini from the pan and saute some chopped onions.

Add sauteed onion to the zucchini, let the veggies cool off and mix with goat cheese, butter, egg and Parmesan. This is the mixture that you'll use to stuff underneath the skin of the breast. You can get quite a bit of the filling under the skin.

I used a toothpick to fasten the skin closed (didn't want all of that good filling oozing out!) Brushed them with a bit of olive oil and then gave them a sprinkle of herbs de Provence.

I did happen to have extra filling, so I put the extra filling in a ramekin and made my husband a little "souffle" to have. Smart move as the huge chicken breasts took a good 45 to 50 minutes to reach the *safe* temp. of 180 degrees... so hubby got an appetizer (which he enjoyed immensely!)

Finally, then end result! Beautifully baked to a golden brown, moist and juicy. I normally don't cook with skin-on chicken, but this recipe worked. The skin with the fabulous filling underneath turned out the most tender non-dry chicken that I've cooked in a long time. We scraped out the filling and discarded the skin. Each bite of chicken had a dabble of the zucchini-goat cheese mixture with it. Two big thumbs up from my family!

Recipe Source:
Modified from A Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash: Seasonal Recipes from Williams- Sonoma

This recipe can be found HERE.

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