Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chicken with Blackberries and Goat Cheese

Every morning, on his way to work, my husband picks up a newspaper (or two) to read on his breaks. On Wednesdays, that particular paper has a Food section that has recipes, reviews, and other information about local food and dining.
Nowhere comes the sweet part. My husband may have his issues, but every so often, he does something considerate, just because he knows I'll enjoy it. Every Wednesday night, I am presented with the food sections from those papers, and he spends a few minutes tell me, in great detail, which recipes look good to him, which ones he thinks I would like, and sometimes even pointing out class announcements that he thinks I may be interested in. Sweet, right?
Here's the part that you're going to need to sit down for. A few weeks ago, my meat-and-potatoes husband came home and presented me with my weekly dose of food porn, pointed to one specific recipe, and said, "I think I might like to try this."
I looked at the page, expecting to see something like Beer Braised Pork Fat, with Beef Fat Brine, and Velveeta Mud Masque". Then, what, to my wondering eyes should appear?
Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Blackberries, Sage and Goat Cheese
Wait, what? My reaction and the ensuing dialogue went something like this:
Me: Honey, you don't like fruit with your meat.
Hubs: But I like blackberries. I don't know hat goat cheese is like though, what does it taste like?
Me: Well, its a soft cheese, more.....tart.....than the cheeses you usually like.....kinda
Hubs: *blank look*
Me: creamier?
Hubs: I'd try it....if you'd make it for me.
Me: *blank look*
Hubs: It sounds good, doesn't it?
Me: *blank look*
Hubs: Well, if you don't want to....
Well, far be it from me to put a damper on any kind of interest he might take in trying something new, so yeah, you know I made it. Damn right! He was also thoroughly entranced, watching me put the dish together, and ate with a curious gusto. His only complaint was the seeds in the berries, but that is kind of hard to avoid. He even ate leftovers. So, yay! A new meal, and it wasn't even my idea! Try this one out on your picky meat eater...who knows, he might like it, too!
(**by the way, on a cooking note, make sure you seal the pockets well so the cheese doesn't come oozing out, and tuck in the corners of the parchment paper well. The chicken turned out incredibly moist and juicy - enjoy!)

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Blackberries, Sage and Goat Cheese 4 TB butter, divided, plus more to prepare pan
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
ground black pepper
1/2 cup goat cheese, divided
3 TB minced, fresh sage, divided
1 cup blackberries, washed
1 lemon, sliced into very thin rounds

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with butter. Cut a length of parchment paper slightly longer than the baking dish and rub one side with butter.
2. Cut a long, deep pocket into side of each chicken breast. Season the inside with a bit of salt and pepper. Spoon 2 TB of goat cheese into each pocket and pat into a even layer. Add a sprinkling of sage, then stuff the cavity with as many blackberries as will fit comfortably. Use toothpicks to secure the opening so the berries don't fall out.
3. Rub the outside of each chicken breast with 1 tablespoon of butter and then season heavily with salt and pepper. Arrange the chicken breasts side by side in the baking dish with at least 1/2 inch between then. Lay a few slices of lemon over the top of each breast.
4. Cover the chicken breasts with the parchment paper, butter side down, and tuck the ends into the pan to create a loose seal. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked and the interior registers at least 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.
5. Let the chicken rest 5 minutes, still covered. Remove and discard lemon slices. Serve chicken over green salad, rice pilaf or couscous. St. Louis Post Dispatch, 'Let's Eat' Section, Wednesday, 06/24/2009


MonkeyGirl said...

Based on what you have explained about the hubs, I would never have figured he would eat this, much less it being his idea! Congrats on finding a new recipe to add to the rotation!

Kim said...

Beer Braised Pork Fat, with Beef Fat Brine, and Velveeta Mud Masque" - I love that you came up with this!! Thanks for making me laugh outloud this morning. Hysterical. This looks like a pretty, colorful and even healthy dish. Your hubby gets bonus points for eating this one!!

NV said...

OMG! That looks and sounds amazing.
Triple props to the hubs:
1) passing along recipe
2) being brave enough to try it