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Goat-Cheese-and-Olive-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Balsamic-Butter Pan Sauce

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 118

Here, chicken breasts are stuffed and then seared until golden-brown. The pan sauce is made separately, which both saves time and prevents the stuffing from getting into the velvety sauce.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 lb. total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 2-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. minced shallots
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. lower-salt chicken broth

With a boning knife, cut a wide pocket into the thickest part of each chicken breast half, taking care not to cut all the way through. Season the chicken evenly on both sides with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper total.

In a small bowl, mix the cheese, olives, and 1 tsp. each lemon zest and rosemary. Stuff the pockets with the cheese mixture and pin each shut with two toothpicks. Spread the flour in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat 1 Tbs. of the butter and the oil in a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat until the foam from the butter subsides. Add the chicken and cook, flipping once and adding another 1 Tbs. of butter halfway through cooking, until golden-brown and cooked through (reduce the heat to medium if necessary), 14 to 16 minutes total. Transfer to plates and remove the toothpicks.

While the chicken cooks, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and boil until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and boil for 1 minute more. Off the heat, whisk in the remaining 3 Tbs. butter, 1 tsp. zest, and 1/2 tsp. rosemary. Serve the chicken drizzled with the sauce.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with garlicky sautéed spinach and crusty bread.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 460; Fat (g): fat g 31; Fat Calories (kcal): 280; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 17; Protein (g): protein g 33; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 10; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 390; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 130; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Excellent! Cut back on the amount of butter in the sauce and used feta since that was all I had. Loved it!

Delicious. Works well with Feta if that's what you happen to have in the fridge. Served with boiled green beans finished with sea salt, fresh pepper and a dash of sesame oil. Garnish beans with fresh cherry tomatoes, halved. The colors and texture combinations are quite nice. I had some issues with the butter scorching, as it took a while for the chicken to cook through. I would recommend using a higher temp friendly oil and finishing with a pat of european butter for flavor.

The recipe looks great but it calls for boneless skinless breasts, yet the picture looks like these have skin. If you've ever made this, which one is it -- with skin or without?

Does not disappoint! I served this over sautéed kale with garlic and pine nuts. Perfect compliment to the chicken and sauce. Will definitely keep this as one of my go to's. My fiancé said it was restaurant quality food. :)

Made this tonight with rainbow chard and roasted potatoes. Delicious. We loved every bite.

Really loved it. Stuffed my husband's with spinach and goat cheese since he does not like olives. He thought his needed more salt; mine was perfect.

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