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Tarragon Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast

It is always fun to pair with a full bodied red wine. Almost every protein is on the table, and there is no reason to shy away from flavor. Cameron Hughes Lot 375 Malbec is a full bodied Argentinean red that is able to hold up against a well seasoned protein. In this dish, I went back to one of my oldest recipes and gave it a makeover. I use to love stuffing chicken breasts with everything from butter to bacon. For this pairing we decided that an herb goat cheese would pair very nicely with the Malbec. Tarragon is a very underused herb in my opinion, it has a wonderful anise flavor that is not over powering and also can meld well with citrus when combined. The goat cheese was mixed well with generous amounts of fresh tarragon and orange zest, and placed underneath the skin of a whole chicken breast. This is a really nice technique to infuse a lot of flavor into chicken while keeping the breast whole and skin on. The skin crisps up nicely in the oven, and the cheese oozes onto the breast when cut, providing a wonderful thick ‘sauce’. The other nice ‘trick’ in this recipe is the use of a cast iron pan & oven. Searing the chicken skin side down, then popping it into the oven for 20 minutes produces an incredibly juicy and perfectly cooked chicken breast. The goat cheese combined with the chicken compliments this wine perfectly. Give it a go at home, a perfect dinner for two!!

Method


Preheat oven to 350*

In a small mixing bowl, combine goat cheese, tarragon and orange zest. Mix well until herbs and zest are fully combined into the cheese.

Gently separate the skin from the breast on both chicken breasts and stuff with goat cheese so it is underneath the skin and on top of the chicken breast. Should be about 1.5 – 2 tablespoons. Gently pat the cheese so it spreads evenly under the skin. Season each chicken breast generously with salt & pepper.

In a cast iron or oven safe pan, drizzle olive oil and heat pan until almost smoking. Place breasts skin side down in pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until skin is crispy and golden brown. Flip breasts and place pan into the oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove and let rest for 3-5 minutes before serving.

*Recommended sides*

Broccoli Raab — Sautee with olive oil and salt for 5-8 minutes until al dente

Roast Potatoes — Quarter 5-8 red potatoes, lightly coat in olive oil, salt and a sprig of tarragon. Place into an oven safe pan and roast in a 400* oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.