Chicken Chevre with Creamy Basil Polenta

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This chicken recipe is soooo SIMPLE. It packs a gourmet punch without the effort or skill required. Sounds perfect to me. Also, I have never tried to make my own polenta, but its so inexpensive (corn meal and chicken stock, basically) and a very yummy, different starch to serve. It only takes about 15 minutes to make, too!

The original Barefoot Contessa recipe requires skin-on chicken breasts (which is the BETTER way to do this), but another way to do it, is to cut, lengthwise, into the top 1/3 of the chicken breast (skinless) and stuff it that way, being sure to smooth the flap back over the stuffing when finished and before oven time.

Chicken w/ Herbed Goat Cheese & Basil

Here's what I used:

3 skinless chicken breasts
4 oz Herbed Goat Cheese (Chevre, en francaise)
6 large, fresh basil leaves
3-4 tbsp good olive oil

Here's what I did:

Preheated oven to 375 F. Cut 1/3 lengthwise slit into chicken breasts to create a pocket for my stuffing. Seasoned entire chicken breast with S&P. Sliced the Chevre (cheese) into 6 or so pieces, and laid them inside pocket, followed by 2 basil leaves each. Smoothed top flap of chicken back over top of stuffing. Drizzled generously with olive oil. Let bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

ALTERNATIVELY:  Carefully separate three sides of the skin off of a bone-in, skin-on breast, and place cheese and basil leaves underneath.  Replace skin overtop the cheese and basil, and season.  Amazing.


Creamy Basil Polenta

Here's what I used:

1 cup cornmeal
4 cups chicken stock
1 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
1 tbsp julienned basil (roll into cigar shape, and cut widthwise)

Here's what I did:

Brought chicken stock and garlic to a boil in large nonstick stockpot. Once boiling, brought down to med/low heat, and slowly added cornmeal, whisking constantly to break up lumps. I then turned my flame down to low, and stirred constantly for 7 minutes. If you leave it, the polenta will burn/stick to bottom of pot, so you really have to watch it. Then, with a spatula, I mixed in the parmesan, cream cheese, basil and S&P.

I served the polenta immediately. Its not something that you can easily reheat, so make sure you time it towards the end of your meal preparation, and once your protein is nearly done. I added a large dollop to each plate, and then set my chicken breasts on top. I think this also would have been great with some sort of drizzle, so I might try that next time.

For reviews, my husband liked the chicken, as always. It is a meal favorite of ours. On the polenta, I don't think he's ever had it before. He did say it was a lot like mashed potatoes, but could have used a bit of a kick. I suppose I could add red pepper flake or maybe a touch more black pepper next time. I have no review from Sydney, due to the fact that she passed out cold at 6pm...about 20 minutes after we arrived home. I'm guessing growth spurt or missed 2nd nap. We missed her last night.


nickover1 said...

Further review from husband: Cutting into the chicken breast made the breast dry. Better to use skin on Chicken Breast and put the cheese between the skin and breast. That is how she usually prepares it and I love it.

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