Monday, October 5, 2009

Stuffed Chicken w/ Roasted Red Peppers & Herbed Goat Cheese

I love roasting my own peppers, so when I found some extremely large, perfectly shaped red peppers I knew I had to get my hands on them. Also, I had some ridiculously large chicken breasts in my fridge. In order to keep them from drying out during cooking, I decided to stuff the chicken breasts with whatever I found floating around the fridge. This is kind of a "fly by the seat of your pants" recipe, but sometimes those are the most fun.

Red Peppers
Chicken Breast
Goat Cheese
Herbes de Provence*
Heavy Cream
Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper

*Herbes de Provence [EHRB duh proh-VAWNS] is a basic assortment of the most commonly used herbs in Southern France; basil, fennel, lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage, savory, and thyme.

We start by roasting our peppers. We roast peppers in order to remove the skin while keeping the meat of the pepper in tact. This process also gives the peppers a rich flavor that tends to be on the sweeter side. I like to set my oven to "Broil" and place the peppers on a sheet tray on the top rack. Once the peppers have blistered on one side, you'll want to rotate them and blister all four side. Once they're finished, you'll want to place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. This allows the residual heat to sweat the peppers inside the bowl, making the skin much easier to remove.

As the peppers are sweating, you'll want to butterfly your chicken breast and season both sides with salt and pepper. I crumbled some goat cheese and rolled it around in some Herbes de Provence. Once your peppers have been peeled, lay one thick strip on one side of the chicken and top it with goat cheese. Lastly, you'll want to close your chicken breast much like a taco shell.

If your chicken is over-stuffed (like mine was) you'll want to truss the breast using butcher's twine in order to keep the breast from falling open during cooking. Simply sear the chicken for 3 minutes on each side until it's golden brown and finish in a 400 degree oven for 7 minutes.

I wanted a very light sauce for this dish since the chicken is very heavy. In a sauce pan, I browned a bit of minced garlic in olive oil, then deglazed with lemon juice. When the lemon juice had reduced by half I added heavy cream and reduced that by half as well. Heavy cream takes on a very nutty flavor as it reduces, so this sauce will taste of zested nuts. I added a touch of white pepper and salt, but not a lot. I really wanted this sauce to be light and not take anything away from the flavors inside the chicken.

When the chicken was done cooking, I set it aside to rest. Using the same pan, I tossed in a handful of leftover diced peppers, sugar snap peas, and some baby portabello mushrooms. I served the chicken over the vegetables and drizzled with a bit of the citrus cream sauce.


A. Thompson said...

Where am I when all of this deliciousness happens?

Anonymous said...

Looks great man! Now if only I had an know, with a kitchen, to cook it in!