I found myself today with some chicken breasts that needed using up and I wanted to do something tastily different with them. I also had some goats cheese and Parma Ham.
I quite like stuffed Chicken breasts, especially when you stuff them with ricotta or goats cheese. Chicken breasts have a tendancy to dry out, but when you can stuff them with something tasty like goats cheese, it really helps to keep them moist.
I happen to love artichokes and I thought they would go really well with the goats cheese. The tinned ones almost have a tartness to them, so I added some lemon zest to give an added layer of flavour, along with some herbs (basil and oregano), chili flakes and garlic.
A bit of seasoning, and I had a stuffing that anyone could love. I stuffed the chicken and then wrapped it in Parma ham for another layer of flavour, and to help keep the stuffing inside the chicken, and then I scattered some tomato wedges around the chicken and baked it for about half an hour.
My reward??? Deliciously moist chicken breasts with a scrummy stuffing, which, when mixed with the roasted tomatoes, created an almost "sauce-like" delciousness. The Parma ham did it's job and kept everything neat and tidy.
In short . . . these were fabulous!
*Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Artichokes*
Boneless Skinless chicken breasts stuffed with a gorgeous combination of goat cheese, artichokes and herbs, wrapped with some Parma Ham and then baked until scrummy delicious!
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts
(I use free range)
6 ounces of artichoke hearts, drained well and chopped
3 ounces of soft goats cheese
2 tsp finely grated fresh lemon zest (from unwaxed lemons)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 fat clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 tsp of dried chili flakes
12 slices of parma ham
4 fresh tomatoes, quartered
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Spray a baking dish with some oil spray. Set aside.
Mix together the artichoke hearts, goats cheese, lemon zest, salt, pepper, basil leaves, oregano leaves, garlic, and chili flakes. Wipe your chicken breasts and then carefully cut a pocket into the side of each, making sure you don't cut all the way through. You only want a pocket in each that you can stuff. Take one chicken breast and stuff 1/4 th of the artichoke mixture into the pocket. Wrap with 3 slices of the Parma ham, making sure that the cheese pocket is thoroughly enclosed and covered. Place into the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining three breasts, placing each into the dish when done. Scatter the tomato quarters around each.
Bake in the heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes until done. The juices from the chicken should run clear when pierced with a fork. Serve one breast to each person, along with some of the pan juices and tomatoes. I like to serve this with a mushroom rice pilaff.