With weather as beautiful as it was yesterday it's hard to find the motivation to hide out in kitchen to prepare dinner, especially after soaking in the first heat of the season at the beach enjoying fried pickles and sweet tea. We wore shorts (I need a tan!) and flip flops (I need a pedicure!) and walked along the beach after our lazy lunch.
I longed all day for my future vegetable garden, grill and patio on which to enjoy the perfect nights that follow such warm days. (And after an hour spent planning for these things, browsing grills and patios, it was even more difficult to put them aside in my mind for the time being).
I let D help me decide what to make and we decided on a lighter, fresher copycat version of one of our restaurant favorites. We used up the rest of the goat cheese and sauteed some fresh spinach and wished we could run outside to grab just a few fresh herbs (so soon I can hardly stand it!)
Night-in Stuffed Chicken (serves 2)
- 2 skinless chicken breasts
- 1 oz goat cheese
- 1 Roma tomato halved, seeded and sliced thinly.
- 1 package baby spinach
- 3 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/4granulated garlic
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- salt & pepper
- 1 Tbsp butter*
- 1/4 tsp dried tarragon *
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise creating a pocket (be careful not to cut all the way through--go for 2/3 of the way). Smear in about 1/2 Tbsp goat cheese, stuff in a few spinach leaves (~4-5) and a few slices of tomato (~2-3). Drizzle a baking dish with olive oil and place the chicken in the pan, pressing down on the breast so it is mostly closed. Season the top with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned on the top and cooked through.
*optional topping suggestion:
When you remove the chicken, top each piece with an additional 1/2 Tbsp pat of goat cheese. In a microwave safe bowl melt the butter. Stir in tarragon leaves and let sit for 1 minute. Spoon tarragon butter over goat cheese & chicken.
In a deep skillet heat 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Grate in the garlic cloves and cook for about a minute until fragrant. Add in the spinach leaves and toss with garlic and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover for about 2 minutes. Continue to toss the spinach as it cooks down so the garlic and spinach don't burn. Remove from heat just as the final leaves begin to wilt.