Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade
From The Whole Foods Market Cookbook
A brightly colored center of green leaf spinach, red roasted pepper, and mild white goat cheese fills these breasts of chicken and makes an attractive presentation. This filling melts in your mouth. Serve this chicken hot, at room temperature or chilled. Offer these to your guests over a nest of fettuccine or a small whimsical pasta, such as star-shaped stellini pasta. Try using piquillo peppers for the roasted peppers in this dish—they are wonderful in this recipe. You may stuff the breasts and freeze them for future use as well. Chilled, sliced breasts become a beautiful tricolor roulade or roll-up, which may be served as an appetizer.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
6 cups fresh washed spinach leaves (approximately 1 bag-if using bagged spinach)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup drained, chopped jarred roasted red peppers
3 tablespoons pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon chopped capers
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 (or 3 - see below) boneless skinless whole chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded lightly
4 ounces mild goat cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon olive oil for brushing chicken
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic, shallot, and thyme for 2 minutes, until softened. Add the spinach, and saute for 1 minute longer, until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat, and let the aromatics cool.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, mix the roasted red peppers with the olives, capers, and balsamic vinegar.
Place about one-quarter of the spinach mixture in the center of each pounded chicken breast. Evenly divide the goat cheese among the chicken breasts, placing a small piece over the spinach; then top with 1 tablespoon of the roasted red peppers.
Fold the top of the breast over the filling to form a package, sealing the bottom of the chicken packages wherever needed. Place the chicken on a baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes (I found I needed to cook them 35-45 minutes). Uncover, brush the chicken with a little olive oil, and cook an additional 10 minutes, until the chicken is brown.
Place the chicken on a serving platter and sprinkle it with the parsley.

The cookbook website says 4 servings at 340. I used 3 whole chicken breasts, (there was enough filling) therefore getting 12 servings (more with slicing the finished servings as a roulade) at 253 calories per "bundle". For lunches, I would say half a packet with the fettuccine is sufficient at 126 calories per serving. As roulade, 1/3 of a packet (2 slices) is good at approximately 85 calories per serving. It is very tasty served cold.

I then served it on small pillows of Fettuccine with Garlic, Parsley and Parmesan.

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