This wonderful recipe comes from the October 2007 issue of Cooking Light magazine. It is simple to prepare and only has a few ingredients, but if you make it for company, it has the 'Wow Factor' in how it is presented. If you are not a fan of goat cheese, you can use the Gournay cheese - the results are just as yummy.
The polenta compliments everything in the chicken without stealing the show. I added some parmigiano-reggiano to up the flavor of the polenta, but feel free to leave it out if you want. This dish as a whole is a lovely meal for friends and family alike. If you make this chicken dish, I would love to hear the results.
You can stuff the chicken breasts up to a day ahead. You can just put them in the refrigerator, until you're ready to cook them.
To save on time, get the water simmering for the polenta while preparing the chicken. When the chicken is in the oven, make the polenta.
I recommend adding some roasted fall vegetables to this meal if you want to add a side dish.
The chicken's preparation time is 1 hour, 10 minutes (this includes garlic roasting). Cook time is 30 minutes.
The polenta's preparation and cook time is 30 minutes.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.
Ingredients for Chicken:
1 whole garlic head
1/3 cup (3 ounces) goat cheese with herbs, softened OR gournay cheese with herbs (such as Boursin), softened
6 (6 ounces) skinless, boneless chicken halves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoon olive oil
Ingredients for Buttery Polenta:
5 cups water
3/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon salt
1 cup dry polenta
2 1/2 tablespoons butter (I used salted, but unsalted works too)
1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions for Chicken:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the white papery skin from the garlic head (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap the garlic head in foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves and squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins. Combine the garlic pulp and cheese, stirring well; set aside.
Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff about 4 teaspoons of cheese mixture into each pocket. Evenly sprinkle the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan; cook for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn the chicken over. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165 degrees F; let stand 5 minutes. Slice the chicken and serve with the buttery polenta.
Combine 5 cups of water and salt in a 3 1/2 quart to 4 quart sauce pan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Gradually add the polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the mixture is thick, stirring often. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter, parmigiano-reggiano cheese, and pepper. Yields 6 servings.
(edited by Anna Weicht)