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Chicken Breasts stuffed with Apricots in a Savory Chèvre

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Serves: 2 | Total Time: 1 day, 1 hour and 40 minutes


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I have been making this stuffed chicken breast recipe for years. It is one of my favorite chicken recipes!

This is the perfect date night dinner recipe to make if you are looking for meal ideas for two. The majority of the work can be done a day in advance, leaving you more time for what you like to do best during a romantic dinner – spending your undivided time on your date!

I first came up with this chicken recipe idea many years ago. I had just moved to Long Island and was hankering for a fancy dinner at home that I could make for myself. I had some chopped dried apricots sitting in my cupboard that I had picked up on a whim. At the time, I had never cooked with apricots before, much less dried ones!

Having trouble finding dried apricots at your grocery store? Purchase some good quality ones by clicking on:

iGourmet.com
Baked Chicken Breast

Apricots are a stone fruit, and stone fruits pair well with white wine. In fact, you can get a wonderful peach wine on the north fork of Long Island. I just happened to have a bottle that I had gotten that week while out wine tasting with a good friend.

I did not use the peach wine in this recipe since I was going to use the chopped dried apricots. This is a savory main dish, after all! I decided to stick with a bright, fresh wine with acidity, such as Sauvignon Blanc, which typically has notes of peach without being too sweet.

Chicken Breast Meat With Chopped Dried Apricots

Sage and thyme are my favorite herbs to cook with chicken. So of course, they got added to the recipe. All I needed now was a nice, creamy base for the stuffing.

Enter plain goat cheese.

If you have never cooked with goat cheese and you are not sure what to expect, know that it breaks down into a wonderful custard-like consistency when heated up. It also absorbs any flavor you add to it. The more aged the goat cheese, the more earthy the flavor, but in any case, it’s light tanginess will balance out the sweetness of the apricots beautifully.

Oh boy, how do you stuff chicken breasts?

Entree Idea: How Do You Stuff Chicken Breasts?

For the best results, start with chicken breasts that are large. The fatter they are, the easier it will be to stuff them without piercing through the meat. If you do pierce it, just wrap the skinny end of the breast underneath that part and place it on the bottom of the sheet tray when it comes time to bake the chicken. The meat will cook together, searing in the flavors of the herbed goat cheese with fruit you whipped up.

A note about how to cut chicken breasts to stuff; use a paring knife. It is small, sharp, and easy to maneuver.

You might find it a little strange that I leave my chicken breasts uncovered when chilling overnight. Don’t worry, they will dry out a little, but you want some of this to happen because it is what will give these boneless, skinless chicken breasts a nice crust; one that will seal all the juices inside during baking. The butter acts as a moisture barrier, too, so use it liberally!

Plan for a little extra time for baking. The best baked stuffed chicken breasts will take longer to cook through the stuffing. It may take close to double the time you are used to if you normally cook chicken breasts all by themselves.

Baked Stuffed Chicken Breasts

You’ll know when the chicken breasts are done by piercing a hole through one with a sharp skewer. If the juices run out clear, they are ready. Try to resist cutting them open with a knife. If they are not yet done, all of the moisture may steam out through the cut as they finish baking.

The bigger the cut, the more moisture you’ll lose.

Lost moisture means… dry chicken meat.

No!

So, resist the urge… please!

Baked Stuffed Chicken Breast Chevre Goat Cheese

I like to let my baked stuffed chicken breasts rest on a cutting board for a few minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to reabsorb into the meat so that you don’t lose too much when you cut them for serving. This is a really important step for the juiciest white meat ever. I know, you just want to dig in, but trust me on this part. 

Wait that extra five minutes!

If you want to serve this as a fancy main course dish, place the slices fanned out on plates. Garnish with a leaf of butter lettuce and a dried apricot. If you are more the casual type, just place the whole chicken breasts on plates let everyone cut their own. Add a side of white rice or potatoes and your favorite veggies.

Oh, and don’t forget the glasses for that bottle of white wine you opened. Sauvignon Blanc pairs great with chèvre goat cheese, too!

Fine Dining Dishes with Chevre Goat Cheese

Sauvignon Blanc Pairs Will With Goat Cheese Dishes

Wine pairings for Chicken Breasts stuffed with Apricots in a Savory Chèvre:

Sauvignon Blanc is the best bet for this dish. Go for one made with riper grapes, like those found in Napa. A great one to try:

Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Learn How To Cook With Gordon Ramsay!
Chicken Recipe Ideas
Meal Ideas For Twto
Goat Cheese Stuffed Apricot Chicken

Chicken Breasts stuffed with Apricots in a Savory Chèvre

Christy Boston’s Kitchen
Looking for romantic dinner recipe ideas? Chopped dried apricots and herbed goat cheese fill these stuffed chicken breasts. Make this chicken dinner a day ahead and enjoy a no-fuss date night at home.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Chilling and Resting Time 1 d 5 mins
Total Time 1 d 1 hr 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine French, Gourmet
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 shallot peeled and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 ounces chèvre (goat cheese) room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon almonds finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter softened and divided
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Sauté the shallot and chopped dried apricots until lightly browned and glossy, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent them from burning. Add the wine and continue to stir for another minute, or until the liquid is absorbed, then stir in the herbs. Cook for one more minute or until the herbs become fragrant but not browned. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  • Add the goat cheese to the skillet and stir to combine with the apricot mixture. Next, stir in the almonds. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir until well mixed. The mixture should begin to bind into a ball. This is what you want to see; it will be easier to work with when stuffing the chicken breasts. Transfer the goat cheese filling to a small bowl and set aside.
  • Butter a baking dish with 1/2 tablespoon butter, set aside.
  • Using a paring knife, cut pockets into the chicken breasts, starting at the thickest end where the tendon is located. Use your fingers to carefully push through the breast to make a pocket, being careful not to poke a hole in the side. Use a small spoon or your fingers to stuff one chicken breast with half of the goat cheese filling. Massage the meat gently to push the filling into the farthest corners of the pocket, then pinch the hole shut. Fold the thin end of the chicken breast under (covering any thin spots or holes that may have torn while stuffing the chicken breast) and place in the prepared baking dish with the folded side down. Repeat with the second chicken breast, using the rest of the filling, if possible. You do not want to overstuff the chicken, so don’t fret if you have some filling left over.
  • Rub the remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter onto the outside of the chicken breasts, being careful not to push out the stuffing. Place the baking dish with the stuffed chicken breasts in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight or for up to 24 hours, but not longer than 1 day.
  • When ready to bake: Preheat the oven to 375F. Cover the stuffed chicken breasts tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 120F. After 45 minutes, remove the foil and baste the chicken breasts with the pan juices. Bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the chicken just begins to brown.
  • Increase the heat to 475F. Baste the chicken breasts with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle a small amount of chopped almonds over the meat. Put the chicken in the oven again and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until juices run clear. The internal temperature of the meat should be 150F.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and carefully slice the breasts crosswise, being careful not to push out the stuffing. Serve drizzled with the juices from the pan. If you have any leftover stuffing, reheat it for a minute or two and serve it with your chicken dinner.

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Lamb Meatballs with Mint Pesto and Sweet Yogurt Sauce

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Serves: 4 | Total Time: 30 Minutes


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Lamb meatballs, mint pesto and sweet yogurt sauce. Sounds gourmet, doesn’t it?

Well, it is… and it’s all keto, too!

Initially, I wasn’t aiming to make this recipe a gourmet keto recipe. It just sort of happened, like a lot of things in the kitchen do when I experiment with new recipe ideas. 

Quick Lamb Dinner

The story goes something like this…

I had lamb for the first time at the Outback Steakhouse many years ago. This was way back when they offered a rack of lamb on the menu. It came with ramekins of mint jelly and a rich brown gravy made from the pan juices.

I was in love!

Lamb Meatballs Mint Pesto

As time went by I got pretty used to cooking my own lamb chops at home. Having lamb with mint is one of my favorite culinary flavor combinations, and since I wanted them more than I could afford to go out and get them at restaurants, I needed to learn how to cook lamb at home.

My love affair with lamb got even juicier the first time I had a gyro… 

Ooooooh,… seasoned lamb meat roasted on a spit, slathered with yogurt sauce and all wrapped up in a chewy, pillowy flatbread…. can life possibly get any better? When I introduced Mark to gyros not long after we met, his reaction was pretty much the same.

How Do You Cook Lamb Meat?

These days, the mere mention of ‘lamb’ when he asks me what’s for dinner will produce a happy dance.

This lamb meatballs appetizer is a combination of my two favorite ways to have lamb; chops with mint jelly for dipping and a traditional Greek gyro. The keto part just sort of happened. In fact, the carbs in this recipe are so low that you can double up the serving portions and have these easy lamb meatballs as a keto dinner without even coming close to busting your carb limit.

Lamb Meatballs

Don’t you just love it when things work out like that? Oh, and did I mention that this is a 30 minute lamb recipe, too?

Gourmet.

Healthy.

Fast and easy.

How To Cook Lamb

With that said, feel free to pour your favorite glass of red for sipping while enjoying the free time you just gained back tonight.

Cheers! 


What Wine Goes With Lamb Meatballs

Wine pairings for Lamb Meatballs with Mint Pesto and Sweet yogurt Sauce:

Cabernet sauvignon pairs well with both lamb and mint, and syrah will compliment the delicate flavors without overpowering.

Not a fan of reds? Grab your favorite dry rosé, it works just as well.


*Peppermint Essential Oil is necessary for the yogurt sauce to be smooth and pretty on the plate. If you don’t have the peppermint essential oil and you want to get some, you will want a food grade essential oil. (Adulterants, fillers, and contaminants – be gone!) Peppermint is not too pricey, and if you don’t know where to buy essential oils for cooking, send me a message and I will let you know where I get mine. You can use the remaining oil in other recipes, in cocktails, to relieve headaches, freshen feet, and even to repel mice, ants and spiders. It has a long shelf like and will keep for many months.


Easy 30 minute Lamb Meatballs Recipe Idea
Lamb Meatballs Recipe

Lamb Meatballs with Mint Pesto and Sweet Yogurt Sauce

This is the best lamb meatball recipe to make if you are on the keto diet – or even if you aren't. Gourmet flavor. Easy to make. A culinary win-win!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4 people
Calories 420 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup flat parsley finely chopped, plus
  • ¼ cup whole flat parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil divided
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt plus more
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • ¼ cup whole mint leaves firmly packed
  • ¼ cup whole milk plain greek yogurt
  • 1 drop peppermint essential oil
  • 3 to 4 drops liquid stevia
  • a few grinds black peppercorns (from a pepper mill), or a pinch of coarsely ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the egg, coconut flour, cumin, turmeric, red pepper flakes, finely chopped parsley leaves, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt. Add the ground lamb and mix everything together well. Use your hands for best results!
  • Roll the lamb mixture into balls that are about one inch in diameter. You should end up with around 20 meatballs. Place the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet so that they are evenly spaced. Bake on the top rack in the oven for 12-15 minutes. When done, use kitchen tongs to roll the meatballs around on the baking sheet. This will smooth out any uneven edges as well as coat them in their juices for maximum flavor.
  • While the meat is baking; add the mint leaves, whole parsley leaves, the second garlic clove, 1/4 cup olive oil, and a pinch of salt to a food processor. Pulse for about a minute or until leaves are very finely chopped and the pesto is beginning to get smooth. 
  • In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, peppermint essential oil, liquid stevia and fresh ground black pepper. Mix well until the yogurt is smooth and creamy and the flavors are evenly distributed.
  • Smear a spoonful of yogurt sauce onto each plate. Drop a spoonful of mint pesto on top of the yogurt and smear the pesto into the yogurt using light, arcing motions. (Don't overdo it, though! You want to have distinct circles of white yogurt and green pesto covering the plates.). Place 5 meatballs on top of the sauce/pesto swirls, then top the meatballs with a drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with a grind or two of fresh ground black pepper and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.

Video

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