Grilled Stuffed Chicken Breasts
So, I’m lucky enough to be the first guest blogger on the Simple Nutrition Blog. I’m also lucky enough to be married to the author of the Simple Nutrition Blog! This also means one more thing; I’m the lucky one who gets to eat all the awesome recipes that you see posted here. Lucky me!
As you have read on this blog I eat extremely well. Megan does most of the cooking around here, but that doesn’t mean I’m totally inept. This summer she has been sharing some of her favorite recipes for the grill. This works out well for me because we have to cook all those meals in order to take the pictures! But as the fourth installment of this series I am going to share one of Meg’s favorites (that I cook)! Now going back to the part where I’m not totally inept… There may have once been a time when Meg asked me to make her Mac and Cheese when she was sick and I asked if I needed boil that water first before I put the pasta in. But apart from a few moments that I plead the fifth on, I actually enjoy cooking and like to find fun new recipes. But more than fun new recipes I often turn back to fun, proven recipes, and this is one of them!
Grilled Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese with Green Chile-Cilantro Sauce has become my go to meal for special occasions, so much so that it’s not really a surprise anymore. The Green Chile-Cilantro sauce is amazing (and great the next day for some Huevos Rancheros). The goat cheese and roasted red peppers mixture makes a mess but is so creamy and delicious. This recipe is adapted from Bobby Flay's book, Grilling For Life. Flay got this one right, other than a few tweaks I’ll let you know about.
Green Chile – Cilantro Sauce
2 poblano chilies, grilled, peeled and chopped
¼ cup coarsely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic (at least)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 teaspoons honey
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
Stuffed Chicken Breasts
6-8 ounces soft goat cheese
2 red bell peppers, grilled, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 8 ounces each
About 12 wooden toothpicks, soaked in water for 5 minutes
4 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt
This is a little more complicated than boiling pasta but a meal I’m sure all of you can prepare. The first step is roasting peppers, 2 poblano and 2 red bell pepper. You can do this on a hot grill or in the stove under the broiler. You want to coat your peppers with olive oil and some salt and then place them on the grill for about 10-12 minutes, turning them every 3-4 minutes. Your peppers should develop a good char on all sides. When you remove them from the grill place them in an airtight container (bowl with lid or saran wrap on top) for about 15 minutes. Next, take the peppers out and you will be able to easily peel the outer charred layer off. This will leave you the roasted flavor but not the burnt char. Afterwards, you will remove the stem and seeds, I find cutting it in half and using a spoon to remove the seeds works well. Chop all of them up and set them aside. The poblanos are for your sauce and bell peppers are for your filling for the chicken.
Green Chile - Cilantro Sauce
Put the poblanos, red onion, garlic cloves, lime juice, lime zest, water, honey, salt and pepper into a blender and blend until smooth. Then with the blender running, slowly add in ½ cup of olive oil. Next add the cilantro and blend until smooth. You can make this up to a day in advance and store it in the fridge. If you make it ahead of time I recommend blending again before pouring on the plate and chicken.
Red Pepper – Goat Cheese Filling
In a small bowl, combine the chopped roasted red peppers, goat cheese and thyme.
One alteration I make to Bobby Flay’s recipe is I do not add olives to the stuffing like it calls for, neither Megan or I like olives (match made in Heaven). I have just recently added a second bell pepper and a little extra goat cheese to the recipe to make up for the missing olives and to just have extra filling. One other thing you may have picked up on reading this blog is we do like Costco. And for this meal the organic chicken breaks and the goat cheese come from Costco. We have a great local dairy, Goat Lady Dairy, that makes amazing flavored goat cheeses but for great tasting, creamy goat cheese and a lot of it at a really good price I go with Costco for this meal.
Prepping your chicken for the grill
Anytime you are doing stuffed chicken you are going to want to pound out the chicken and flatten it out so that it can cook evenly and more quickly. You can do this by placing your chicken breasts in between saran wrap but I prefer to use a gallon zip lock bag. I place the chicken breast in the bag before a hit them with the mallet so that I don’t end up with raw chicken all over the counter or kitchen.
Once you have flattened the chicken out you can spread the goat cheese mixture onto the chicken breast. Then lift both sides up (almost like a taco) and attach with toothpicks.
Now brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and salt them.
They are now ready to throw on your hot grill. Grill the Chicken for 8-12 minutes turning as needed. Grilling time is difficult because it depends on the heat of your grill and the thickness of your chicken so I recommend using a meat thermometer and make sure your chicken is 165F. Pull the chicken off the grill and let them rest for 5 minutes. Drizzle the chile-cilantro sauce over your chicken and ENJOY!
Served with a simple salad with tomatoes from our garden.