Yesterday, I ran out of things to do on the internet. Shocking, I know. But as I'd done all I could for the time being to my comics site, I'd caught up on all the news and blogs I'd missed, and I'll be starting a job next week that literally centers around web development, I figured it was best to take a break. And you know what that means: baking day!
Over the course of the day I baked a batch of bagels, bran muffins, chocolate chocolate-chip muffins, and rye bread. I won't inundate today's post with pictures of all of them, because I'll need something to post for the next week when I start school and eat PB&J every day! I'll just focus on the crowning glory of the weekend, which wasn't a baked good at all.
While Sweetie was getting his back-to-school haircut, I swept around Kroger picking up ingredients that weren't strictly staples to my refrigerator...which is rare. Earlier I was sucked into the vortex of Cooking Light, which spawned a grocery list of things I rarely buy or have never bought before, like scallions and turnips. There are no turnips in the chicken, but those mini-onions were put to quick use.
Chèvre Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Adapted from Cooking Light
-3/4 cup chopped shallots (2 regular-sized, or 1 large)
-1 teaspoon sugar
-1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
-1/3 cup crumbled Chèvre
-oregano to taste
-4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
-3/4 cup fat-free chicken broth
-1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute 1/2 cup of the shallots, sugar, and garlic, until the shallots are limp and caramelized. Remove from heat and stir in the Chèvre and oregano.
Cut a slit into the largest part of each chicken breast and stuff with a fourth of the cheese mixture. Add more oil to the pan and heat, then add chicken breasts and fry until browned on both sides.
Mix the broth and vinegar and pour over the chicken along with the rest of the shallots; boil until the chicken is cooked through and the liquid has reduced to a thin sauce.
Sprinkle the meat with black pepper and serve over brown rice, with the sauce poured on top. Makes 4 servings.
See the goat cheese oozing out onto the rice?
Sweetie said the rice could have used some additional seasoning, but the sauce certainly helped. Maybe I'll cook it in chicken broth next time.
In the original recipe, the chicken was cooked separately from the sauce, but the breasts I purchased were abnormally large...although this seems to be the new "normal." Since when did 3 breasts make 2 whole pounds of meat? In order to make 4 portions, I had to do some creative carving, and the meat was still too thick to cook through by pan-frying only. Simmering in the sauce allowed me to cook them thoroughly without drying out. I did hate an issue with cheese leakage into the broth, but it didn't hurt anything in the end.
The original recipe also called for sun-dried tomatoes in the stuffing, and used a lot more vinegar in both the stuffing and sauce. Though I love both in my dishes, I thought they would overwhelm the flavor of the cheese and chicken itself. I really like Cooking Light's recipes, but they do tend to have a heavy hand with bold flavors like vinegar, soy sauce, etc. Maybe when I get older and my taste buds go south I'll make them as rote, but for now I'll use the bottle sparingly.