Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This aromatic and perfectly balanced dish comes together easily. A blend of sharp peppers and goat cheese and sweet raisins is made even more tasty with the addition of warm spices and the crunch of toasted nuts.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 whole skinless and boneless chicken breasts
  • 5 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 ½ red peppers, cut into very large chunks
  • ¼ of a sweet white onion cut into large chunks
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and quartered, ends removed
  • 1 ½ t kosher salt + ½ black pepper, plus more for last minute seasoning
  • Sprig of fresh rosemary
  • ½ t coriander powder
  • 1/8 t each of ground cumin and ground cinnamon
  • 4 ounces plain goat cheese divided
  • 4 T melted salted butter
  • ½ C pecans, pan-toasted and cut into small pieces (Do not grind them. You want the pieces about the size of raisins)
  • ½ C golden raisins

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  • Add the large pieces of red pepper, sliced onion, and garlic cloves to a foil lined baking dish. Toss with 3 T oil and sprinkle with 1 t kosher salt and ½ t black pepper. Place rosemary on top. Roast for about 20 minutes or until they begin to char on edges. Remove. Discard rosemary sprig. Let cool. Then chop it all into a small dice. Add the toasted and chopped pecans and golden raisins to the roasted and cut vegetables. Add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon and about ½ t more kosher salt. Stir well to combine.
  • Now preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Take each breast and cut in half at midline, not lengthwise. Then make an incision in the middle of each piece, making it as deep and wide as you can without cutting through the sides or bottom. Drop into a bowl and add 2 T olive oil, and 2 T balsamic vinegar and a little salt and pepper. Rub them well with that mixture. Sit them upright in a baking dish lined with parchment paper so the pouch faces up.
  • Place the 2 T or large knob of goat cheese in each indentation, pressing in deep and then stand the breast halves upright with the cheese side up.
  • Divide the pepper pecan mixture evenly into each of the indentations forming a mound over the top. Drizzle with the melted butter. Bake for about 25-35 minutes or until the chicken is done. Use a meat thermometer if you’re unsure, rather than just touching the meat for firmness to signal doneness. Meat should reach 165°.
  • Serve over jasmine rice cooked in chicken stock. And some pan-braised baby bokchoy sprinkled with a little salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and/or cilantro.



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