Chicken with Herbed Goat Cheese
An easy, 3-ingredient, fast and tasty weekday dish.
This is a perfect city cook recipe for a weekday dinner. Chicken breasts -- either boneless or on the bone -- are roasted with a slice of garlic-herb goat cheese tucked under the skin. As the chicken roasts, the cheese melts, adding flavor to the chicken and appeal to the dinner plate. Ina Garten's original recipe also calls for fresh basil but I wasn't going to buy a whole bunch of basil (at winter prices) just for 2 leaves so I left it out; but if it were in the summer and I had fresh basil on hand, I would definitely tuck a leaf under the skin of each chicken breast.
The breasts I bought were particularly meaty so I also cut a pocket in each and placed a second, smaller slice of goat cheese there. It cooked to perfection in 45 minutes and while in the oven I added a pan of asparagus spears to roast at the same time.
I bought a 4 oz. Montchevré goat cheese already mixed with herbs and garlic (available at markets all over the city) and it was more than enough for two chicken breasts with a little left over, and this was with my doubling up on the goat cheese so the little roll of chevre could easily accomodate 4 chicken breasts.
This recipe is adapted from one in Ms. Garten's Barefoot Contessa at Home which is full of wonderful ideas and recipes for both weekday meals and also entertaining. Ms. Garten may have a big kitchen in the Hamptons, but she cooks like a city cook.
4 boneless or on-the-bone chicken breasts, skin on
8 to 10 ounces garlic-and-herb coat cheese, such as Montrachet
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375°
- Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan. Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers, leaving one side attached.
- Cut the goat cheese into 1/2-inch thick slices and place a slice under the skin of each chicken breast. If the breasts are thick, you can also cut a little pocket in each and insert another piece of goat cheese.
- Using your fingers, rub each piece all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 35 to 45 minutes (boneless breasts will cook more quickly than ones on the bone), until the skin is lightly browned and the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.