Friday, 26 June 2009
chicken breasts stuffed with herbs, roasted wet garlic and goat's cheese
my appetite is out of control at the moment. i made this, with a huge pile of vegetables, thinking i’d have enough leftovers for breakfast but then proceeded to eat it all, practically licking the dish in which the chicken was cooked.
wet garlic was a bit of a revelation. it came in an abel&cole box a couple of weeks back. which is odd, because i think of it as a spring thing. anyway, i have cooked with it before – i’ve put it in soups and i think i roasted a chicken with it once. but this time i thought i’d try something different and roast it on its own. i bought some young, soft goat’s cheese because i figured the two would go well together, but then realised that what you would really want to eat that with is some crusty bread. that plan abandoned, i had to go back to the drawing board.
it took me almost a week to come up with an alternative recipe and i am so glad i did. as is usually the case when i make something up rather than follow a recipe from a cookery book, the quantities are a little random so this is general guide to what should work.
stuffing a chicken breast usually sounds like such palaver but in reality this took no time to cook at all, required very little attention, and it was seriously good. you just need to allow a bit of time for the garlic to roast (and resist the temptation to just sit down and eat all of it when it comes out of the oven).
CHICKEN BREASTS STUFFED WITH HERBS, ROASTED WET GARLIC AND GOAT’S CHEESE
2 chicken breasts
75g soft goat’s cheese
a handful of basil, finely chopped
a handful of parsley, finely chopped
3 heads of wet garlic
salt and pepper
first, roast the wet garlic. preheat the oven to 160C. tear off a piece of foil, put the whole heads of garlic on it (as in, don’t separate out the cloves), sprinkle with olive oil and season, then scrunch up the foil. the idea is for the garlic to roast and steam at the same time. you don’t want it to burn as it will taste bitter. roast in the oven for an hour or so.
in a bowl, mix the goat’s cheese and the herbs together. when the garlic is cool enough to handle, squish out the soft cloves into your cheese and herb mix and mix in so it’s evenly spread. eat the leftover garlic skin – it will be sweet, caramelised and garlicky and gorgeous. and it’s the chef’s prerogative to pick at stuff while cooking.
now tear off two pieces of clingfilm and lay them on your counter. take the chicken breasts, put each in the middle of a piece of clingfilm, and with a sharp knife, make a little pocket. stuff each breast with half of the cheese mixture, then secure with a toothpick. roll up the clingfilm, almost like a sweetie, twisting the edges. repeat.
put both breasts in the freezer for 20 minutes to half an hour so they firm up a little and don’t fall apart when you start cooking. up to you how you cook them – i grilled mine for about 7-8 minutes on each side.