Thursday, September 24, 2009

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast with Bulgur Mint Salad

Lately I've had less time to devote to the kitchen, but I still crave a satisfying and delectable meal. I thumbed through my homemade cookbook for something new and quick I could whip up, but would seem like I spent an hour or two in the kitchen. I came across a recipe which featured bulgur in a salad that peaked my interest. I decided to pair it with stuffed chicken and had my meal plan. I love it when things come together when needed.

Even though I strive for making fantastic meals, I still have this yearning for trying new things. I do have some old standby recipes that I make repeatedly, but I feel like I'm missing out on further great culinary adventures if I start to get into a cycle of the same dishes. Take my homemade cookbook for example; it's actually two giant binders stuffed full of recipes I've collected over the years from various sources, not to mention a few actual cookbooks and notebooks I've scribbled in that are hiding in a cupboard. No matter how ordinary a recipe may sound, if it's something I'd be willing to try, I am unable to pass it up. It's like a never ending journey to appease my palate. I take pleasure in knowing this is a life long path I can meander and will never become complacent in appreciating the variety of cuisines. Even on an evening when I'm crazy tired, I can't pass up a new taste - in this dish it's bulgur.

The stuffed chicken is so moist and tender, helped by finishing it wrapped in the oven. This salad features bulgur which contains more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than white rice or couscous. The taste was comforting and matched with the medley of herbs - I totally went back for seconds. I grabbed some chocolate mint to use in the salad and was so glad I did. It's an easy recipe when you need a quiet moment in the kitchen after a long day, but needs no effort so you can relax and enjoy.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken

4 oz garlic & herb goat cheese, softened
3 tbsp basil, roughly chopped
3 chicken breasts, 6 oz each
salt & pepper to taste

Combine goat cheese and basil in a small bowl and set aside.

Clean and trim the chicken breasts. Butterfly each breast, careful not to cut the breast into two pieces or cause an opening on the seam. Stuff equal portions of the goat cheese mixture into each breast and fold.

Preheat the oven to 350*F. In a large pan set on medium-high heat, cook the chicken for 7 min on each side, sprinkling with salt and pepper. The chicken will still be slightly pink on the inside. On a cookie sheet, lightly wrap the chicken all together in foil and bake for 15-20 min.

Notes: Using tongs while cooking and transferring the chicken will help keep the filling from spilling. If a non-stick pan is unavailable, coat the bottom of your pan with a little butter so the chicken does not stick. Finally, if the chicken skin has browned too much or became tough while cooking on the stove top, place one large ice cube in the center of the foil wrap to moisten the chicken while baking.

~Original by Brie.

Bulgur Mint Salad

1 cup uncooked bulgur
1 cup boiling water
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large tomato, cubed
1 medium cucumber, cubed
1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
3 green onions, chopped
2 tbsp chocolate mint, roughly chopped
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine bulgur and water in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 min. Fluff the bulgur and mix in the juice, oil, and garlic. Then combine with all ingredients.

~Adapted from Cooking Light.

14 comments:

  1. That's a great stuffed chicken and bulgur salad. There are so many recipes out there and sometimes I forget to bookmark them or if I ever print them, I couldn't find them. Which means, I need to get organize.

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  2. Oh, yes, I struggle with trying to hang onto recipes. They're definitely all over the place, but every so often I go on a cleaning spree and wrangle them into a binder of some kind. One of my secrets is using plastic sheets to keep the magazine pages from ripping or getting food on them - it's a big help!

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  3. Love goat cheese! Thanks for this recipe :)

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  4. Mmmm, goat cheese. The bulgar part sounds so good. We could try it with the quinoa in the pantry...

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  5. Diana ~ You're welcome! It's delicious!

    Duo ~ Yes, substitution would be no problem and still very tasty.

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  6. You should create a recipe folder and then print them out that way you can have them on hand :)

    I'm loving this dish, stuffed chicken with goat cheese, talk about utter yum!

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  7. Yes, I do need to comb through them all and tone it down a bit. I've collected so many! So glad you like the recipe! :)

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  8. Brie this looks fab! We love goat cheese! I have a million notepads running around with my handwritten recipes & endless food thoughts. ONEDAY will get them organized too :) Well at least that's the plan! LOL

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  9. Thank you! I agree and think it's an often overlooked ingredient. I love its earthy taste and it pairs so well with other flavors. Good luck on getting organized - I always plan to, but time gets away from me. ;)

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  10. Oh that bulgar salad looks great!

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  11. thanks! it was very refreshing with the chocolate mint and fresh veggies.

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  12. Mmmm... Goat cheese.

    More pertinent info though: when butterflying your chicken breasts, I couldn't get a clear view, but it seems as if you started at the top thick portion of the breast and worked your way toward the tapering thin point. It looks a lot sturderier than my method of makign stuffed chicken.

    I've always gone in from the side, more of a filet I guess (cooking verbage fail), which leads to the contents usually melting out on the pan. The quasi-bowl you create from the meat seems like it will stop this from happening, however, have you found a way to quickly do this without cutting through the bottom of the chicken?

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  13. Good question - I was concerned about all the goat cheese goodness seeping out, so I did a filet-like move: I did lay the chicken breast flat and cut from the side; however, I did not cut it perfectly open, meaning my knife did not cut either end of the chicken breast, which creates the "bowl". I also restrained myself and did not overstuff the breasts. I also went slow and was careful not to cut the chicken into two pieces, which seems to just take patience and confidence with a sharp knife. I kept the mindset it's easier to add than take away, meaning I could always cut a little more, but can't undo any cuts. Next time I feature a stuffed chicken breast, I'll be sure to do a step-by-step photo session to better explain the move. Thanks for the question! :)

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  14. Okay, the chicken recipe has been printed and pocketed. Hopefully tomorrow it will be executed in my kitchen, because it looks absolutely fantastic.

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