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Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken, Fresh Tomato Salsa, Orzo with Peas & Spinach
Show # 01.06
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This recipe yields: 4 Servings

Goat Cheese Filling:
4 ounces goat cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons of shallots
1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepping The Chicken:
4 boneless chicken breast halves with skin attached
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil

Deglazing The Pan:
2 tablespoons of shallots
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
½ cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh Tomato Sauce (recipe to follow)
Orzo with Peas and Spinach (recipe to follow)
Chopped parsley, garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Insert a thin, sharp knife into the thick side of each chicken breast and make a horizontal pocket, being careful not to cut all the way through to the other side.

For the filling, mix the goat cheese, pine nuts, shallots, parsley and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Put mixture in a piping bag with a large plain tip (or you can use a Ziploc bag and make a small slit in one corner).  Stuff each chicken breast.

Lightly salt and pepper both sides of the chicken.  Place the flour in a shallow dish and lightly dust the chicken, shaking to remove any excess.  In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and sear skin-side down until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.  Turn and place in the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes. 

Remove from the oven, transfer to a plate, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the shallots and garlic to the fat remaining in the pan from the cooked chicken and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and lemon juice.  Cook until reduced by half, stirring to deglaze the pan.  Remove from heat and whisk in the butter.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and slice each breast in half on a bias.

To serve, spoon the orzo into the center of each of 4 large dinner plates and arrange the sliced breasts on top of the orzo.  Top the chicken with the tomato sauce and garnish with chopped parsley.

Fresh Tomato Salsa:

2 ripe plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon chopped garlic
½ teaspoon salt

Mix all the ingredients together and set aside.  (To allow the flavors to blend, make in advance and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.)

Orzo with Peas & Spinach:
8 ounces orzo pasta
½ cup fresh shelled peas (you may use frozen peas if fresh not available)
1 cup of chopped fresh spinach
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 leaves chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until tender, about 6 minutes.  Add the peas and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.  Drain well.

In a skillet sauté the green onions lightly in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the spinach and cook until wilted.

In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the remaining olive oil, spinach mixture and lemon juice.  Add parsley and thyme.  Toss to combine. 

Add salt to taste.

Serve at room temperature.

Chef Ana Crowther
Community Cook