Thursday, November 5, 2009

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Garlic & Goat Cheese

1 small garlic head

1/3 c. (3 oz.) goat cheese with herbs, softened

6 (6 oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

salt to taste

pepper to taste

2 tsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate cloves).  Wrap head in foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes.  Separate cloves; squeeze to extract pulp.  Discard skins.  Combine garlic pulp and cheese, stirring well; set aside. (Roasting the garlic mellows its bite.)

Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket.  Stuff about 4 tsp. cheese mixture into each pocket.  Sprinkle chicken evenly with salt & pepper.  (Chicken breasts may be stuffed up to a day ahead, refrigerate, and cook them just before serving.)  Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned.  Place chicken in a greased glass pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 180 degrees.  Let stand 5 minutes.  (Note:  You may use plain goat cheese and add 1 tsp. rosemary and 1/2 tsp. thyme to it.)

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