Apricot, Pistachio, and Goat-Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Eating healthy often means eating a lot of chicken breasts. And chicken breasts can be pretty boring. This recipe from Aida Mollenkamp's Keys to the Kitchen is a fabulous way to spiff up a plain old chicken breast. It only needs a few extra ingredients, but it creates a ton of flavor and helps keep the chicken breasts moist when you cook them. You will need a pan that can go both on the stove and in the oven, I tend to stick with my All-Clad Saute pans for this type of work. But any type of stainless pan will work - it's usually the handle you'll need to pay attention to when it comes to oven work. Metal is best.This recipe is made for two, but you can easily double it or even triple it and serve 4-6. It's great served over a bed of couscous or some brown rice. If you have extra stuffing that you can't fit into the chicken, I like to throw it in on top of the chicken once I add it to the pan. It'll end up caramelizing a bit on the bottom of the pan and will give you a few bites of delicious saucy bits to add to the chicken.
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium-sized red onion, diced
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley
- Two chicken breasts
- 2 oz (usually half a package) goat cheese
- 3 Tablespoons chopped pistachios (you could also sub in walnuts if needed)
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons (about 5) finely chopped dried apricots
- Heat the oven to 375F and place you rack in the middle of the oven.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon of your olive oil in an oven-safe pan on the stove over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the red onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes until the onion is soft and cooked through. You don't want the onion to brown, so adjust the heat if necessary.
- Add in the parsley, season with salt and fresh ground pepper and stir until the parsley has just wilted.
- Remove the onion mixture from the pan and set aside in a bowl to cool. Wipe out any extra oil and leftover bits from the pan.
- Prepare your chicken by cutting a pocket for the filling. Using a sharp knife, cut into the side of the chicken and make a large pocket - try not to cut all the way through the chicken breast or your stuffing will escape! Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
- Once your onion mixture has cooled a bit, mix in the goat cheese, pistachios, and apricots. It's easiest to use your hands for this one. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Stuff half of the filling in each chicken breast and use kitchen twine or toothpicks to keep the pocket closed.
- Using the same pan, heat the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chicken breasts to the pan. Let them cook - without touching them - for 6 minutes, until they're golden brown. (They do splatter a bit, so I like to place the lid on the pan - not totally covering the pan, but covering about half of it just to keep the splatter down. Same goes for the oven cooking.)
- Flip the chicken breasts over and move the pan to the oven. Cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through yet still juicy.
- Remove your twine or toothpicks and server over couscous or rice.