I know the Wifester's answer any time I ask "So what should I make for dinner?" is always going to be "ENCHILADAS!" So I don't even bother asking her anymore, unless I happen to be in the mood for enchiladas as well. Since we recently had enchiladas when our soon-to-be married friends came over *waves at robin_nash and her boo * so this time, I wanted something different. I also wanted to make something that I haven't made before. I poked around on the foodchannel.com and about a thousand recipe sites, but didn't really see anything that tickled my fancy. I knew I wanted to make something with the nice plump chicken breasts I had just bought, and remembered that I had some goat cheese...
I marinated my breasts, well, not my breasts, but the chicken's breasts in olive oil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, marjoram, and sage for a few hours in the fridge. Then I took them out, covered them with a sheet of saran wrap and beat the hell out of them with a meat tenderizer until they were flat like pancakes, maybe 1 1/2" thick...I donno. At that point, I placed them back in the marinade and made my stuffing.
For the stuffing, I cooked 5 slices of bacon, and set them aside to cool, then I chopped them up to tiny bits in my handy food chopper. I love that damned little gadget. Then, I took my little package of goat cheese, which had been sitting on the counter while the bacon cooked to let the cheese soften a bit, a couple handfuls of Italian bread crumbs, some minced garlic, some more oregano, thyme, marjoram, sage, and some salt and pepper and a little steamed, chopped spinach. I mixed this all up until it was completely incorporated together, then covered and placed it back in the fridge to let all the flavors come out. I let that set in the fridge for about two hours. I kept my bacon grease in the skillet. I'll tell you why in a few.
After the stuffing set and the flavors were peaking, I took the chicken breasts, laid them out flat, and spooned the stuffing mixture into them, then rolled them up and dipped them in Italian bread crumbs. Once all the breasts were dipped I pan seared them in that bacon grease, then set them in a glass casserole dish and baked at 350 for about 20 min. I checked the temp and my thermometer read 180 so I felt safe that we would not be suffering salmonella poisoning with this meal, and at that, I covered the dish and let the breasts rest for about 10 min while my brussel sprouts cooked. For them, I did a twist on Guy Fieri's "Bumped up Brussel Sprouts." I didn't have all the ingredients, but I worked with what I did have, and they came out great. I cut the sprouts in half, used some of those bacon pieces from earlier, some minced garlic, a few spoons of capers and some of the bacon drippings. When the sprouts were tender, I splashed some balsamic vinaigrette and viola, yummy, yummy sprouts!
The chicken, though... the chicken was so good! I've never made it before, but I guarantee, I'll be making it again! And if you like Italian spices and chicken that is tender and juicy and stuffed with yummy, yummy goodness, then I encourage you to try it too! One day, when I win the lottery and open my own restaurant...this chicken dish will definitely be on the menu!