Thursday, June 17, 2010

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

Well, this turned out to be an interesting recipe.  On the first attempt, the poaching step did not work because my plastic wrap disintegrated.  On the next attempt, I put the chicken roll in a plastic bag and it survived the poaching but did not look so great.  Nonetheless, the flavor combinations are very good. And Tom and I thought it worked well as a cold salad for dinner.

I had lots of basil which prompted me to make this recipe.  As you can see, the transplanted hydroponic basil plant is doing just as well as the one I bought in dirt.

The ingredient list was minimal and I like that feature of a recipe this time of year.

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil
from Tony Valenti's "You Don't Have to Be Diabetic to Love This Cookbook"

4 ounces goat cheese at room temperature
1 ounce dry packed, finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (about 3)
8 large fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
pinch of coarse salt
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each)

Combine the goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes (I used jarred because I did not have dry on hand), and basil in a bowl, season with the salt and pepper.

And mix together well.  This is your filling.

Sandwich each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and use a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy pot or pan to gently pound it to a thickness of about 1/2 inch.  This was a very noisy step, but lots of fun!

Place a clean 12 x 18 inch piece of plastic wrap in the center of the work surface.  Arrange the chicken in the center.  Spoon 1/4 of the filling in the center and roll the meat up around it.

Wrap the plastic tightly around the chicken and wind the ends of the wrap over and over, as if wringing out a towel, until the chicken forms a cylinder and the ends of the plastic wrap don't come undone when you release them. 

Don't do this!  My plastic disintegrated.  Instead, put each roll in a heavy Ziploc plastic bag.  Make sure it is very well sealed and as much of the air as you can get out is removed (or your chicken roll will float instead of poaching in the water).
Fill a large pot three quarters full with water and bring to a simmer.  Poach the wrapped breasts in the water until the chicken turns opaque and is firm to the touch and any juices in the packet are clear, about 15 minutes.  Internal temperature should be 165 degrees using an instant read thermometer.

Remove the breasts from the water, using tongs and let rest for 5 minutes before unwrapping.

Cut away the plastic, taking care not to cut into the meat. 

Slice into 1/2 inch slices and serve hot.   Or let the rolls cool, like I did,  and keep them in the refrigerator until dinnertime, then slice them for a salad.  I drizzled balsamic vinegar on top.  The next time I make this salad I will put toasted pine nuts on top, too.

The filled chicken can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours or frozen for 3 days.  Thaw in refrigerator over night.

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