Saturday, July 2, 2011

Best. New. Recipe. EVER.

I have been trying new recipes the last few weeks. I am trying to expand my repertoire during the summer when I have time to test new recipes so when school starts I have already tested them out. This chicken recipe was a little work, but it is soo good. The sweetness of the apricots combined with the saltiness of the goat cheese combined with the crunchiness of the Panko was like a little party in my mouth.

Goat Cheese, Apricot, and Sage-Stuffed Chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (This is how chicken is standardly sold - in half breast portions)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup Panko crumbs or other toasted coarse bread crumbs
5 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth

Soak dried apricots in very hot water for 20 minutes. Drain and slice apricots into 1/4 inch pieces.

In a medium pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sweat them out for 5 minutes. If they begin to brown, turn down the heat. You don't want them to brown. Turn the heat down to medium and add garlic. Add sage and salt and pepper and continue to cook until the onions are translucent. Add apricots and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Thoroughly mix in goat cheese and set aside.

Using any method that works for you, (I use my marble rolling pin, though I think they make a specific kitchen utensil for the purpose) pound chicken breasts until they are about 1/4 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread 1/4 cup of the apricot cheese mixture down the center of each chicken breast. Fold the short ends in, then roll one long side up to the other side. Tie the ends with string or stick them with toothpicks to secure. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture and then in the Panko.

In an ovenproof saute pan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium high heat. Place the chicken in the pan and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Then, put the entire pan in the oven and bake until the chicken is golden and firm when pressed, 10 - 15 minutes, depending on how thin you get the chicken.

USING AN OVEN MITT OR POTHOLDERS remove the pan from the oven. If you have an oven mitt or potholder with a slit in it, put it over the handle of the saucepan after removing to remind yourself that it is HOT! Otherwise, you will burn yourself like I did, and it will be painful.

Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate. Remove string or toothpicks from chicken. Loosely cover the plate with foil. Place the pan over medium high heat and deglaze with wine. Boil until reduced, about 2 minutes, and then add the chicken stock. Boil until reduced by half, 3-5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, and melt 1 tablespoon butter into the mixture. Drizzle chicken breasts with sauce before serving.

Gnocchi with Sage Butter Sauce
24 ounces (give or take a little) potato gnocchi (I bought mine at Aldi, but you can usually get it in the pasta aisle and/or frozen pasta section of a decent grocery store)
1/4 cup butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried sage (I used 1 tablespoon fresh sage, because I had it)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Over high heat, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi, and cook until they float to the surface, 2 to 3 minutes; drain.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook until the garlic has softened and is beginning to turn golden brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the sage and salt for a few seconds, then add the cooked gnocchi. Toss gently with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and the pepper. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese to serve.

I also made fresh green beans, which I steamed in a Ziploc steamer bag. I drizzled the sauce from the chicken recipe over the green beans, as well. Brad and I thought it was great. He took the leftovers in his lunch, and he said the chicken reheated pretty well.

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