Thursday, December 10, 2009
A bird in the hand...
It was a gloomy, rainy day in L.A. today. There was a romantic quality to it though and it is finally starting to feel like winter (well, for L.A.). Tonight I was definitely going to make the stuffed chicken since I had already bought all the ingredients the other day. Hot, juicy chicken breast stuffed with rich goat cheese was the perfect dinner for a cold night in. I served it with a colorful salad that I make quite often. No starch needed with the meal, it is satisfying enough on its own. I blanched the asparagus earlier by breaking off the tough ends and simmering it in water for a minute in a shallow pan. Then removing them and shocking them in an ice bath. They should still be green and crispy. Very little prep work for the rest of the meal. You just had to wait for the chicken to cook!
Goat cheese and Basil Stuffed Chicken
4 boneless chicken breasts with skin on
4 ounces of good goat cheese (plain or herbed)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan (I like to line it with parchment paper so that nothing sticks and cleanup is a snap). Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers but make sure to leave some skin attached. Slice the goat cheese into 8 even slices. Place 2 slices of the cheese plus a few basil leaves under the skin of each chicken breast. Pull the skin back over as much of the meat as possible. Rub each piece with a good amount of olive oil and sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 35 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned and the chicken is just cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Asparagus, Tomato, Avocado & Olive Salad
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and cute into 3/4 inch cubes
4 small organic tomatoes, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
Asparagus spears (around 24 spears), blanched, cut into 1 inch pieces
Olives (Kalamatas are good, as many as you like, I usually put in about 20 small ones), seeds removed and cut in half
2 tbsp of good olive oil
1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp of Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
In a medium sized serving bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, Dijon, salt and pepper until a smooth and creamy dressing forms. Then add the first four ingredients to the bowl and gently combine everything. You want the veggies to be coated in dressing but not all breaking apart. Serve immediately. If you want to make ahead of time, don't take the avocado out of it's skin until you are ready to serve. And go ahead and prep the dressing but don't add the veggies until you are ready to serve either.