Our Food Day Canada 2010 party raged on from zucchini rolls to carrot and cilantro soup to a main course loaded up with many things green. The main act was our stuffed chicken. A mild flavour in comparison to our very zesty Italian salad and the strong taste of our Asian mustard greens. I found it worked well to take a bite of my chicken with the mustard greens to balance each other out. It was a plate with pow. I did use a Roots and Shoots Farm CSA onion for the filling. My supply is starting to dwindle. I liked the chicken and would make it again and would put more thyme in the filling or perhaps other flavours with the thyme, like sun-dried tomatoes. It made for a nice presentation sliced vs. just getting the big ‘loaf’!

BREADED STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH GOAT CHEESE AND THYME FILLING
Source: The Best Chicken Recipes by the Editors of Cook’s Illustrated

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed, 5 to 6 ounces each
cheese filling (see recipe below)

2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs), toasted

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Butterfly each chicken breast by slicing it lengthwise almost in half (starting on the thinnest side) and then opening it to create a single cutlet. Place each cutlet between sheets of plastic wrap and pound until the cutlets are about 1/4-inch thick. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

Place a quarter of the cheese filling in the center of the tapered end of each chicken breast. Roll the chicken tightly over the filling to completely enclose it and form a cylinder. Press the seam to seal. Repeat with the remaining chicken and filling. Refrigerate the chicken, seam side down and uncovered, for 1 hour to allow the edges to seal further. This step is very important.

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish and whisk the eggs and Dijon together in a second shallow dish. Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess, then coat with the egg mixture, allowing the excess to drip off. Finally, coat with the panko, pressing gently to adhere the crumbs.

The breaded chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Increase the baking time by 5 to 10 minutes then.

When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 375ºF and place the chicken at least 1 inch apart on a wire rack set over a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until fully cooked (an instant read thermometer should register 160ºF to 165ºF), about 35 minutes.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Goat Cheese and Thyme Filling

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1 small onion, minced

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves

1 small garlic clove, minced

3 oz cream cheese, softened

2 oz goat cheese, softened

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the thyme and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; set aside to cool.

Mix the cooled onion mixture, cream cheese, goat cheese, salt, and pepper together until uniform.

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