Tag Archives: white wine

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.

Video

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Easy Shrimp Scampi with Kale

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Serves: 2 | Total Time: 30 Minutes



Shrimp scampi is so spring.

Yes, I know, spring has been procrastinating this year. Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and even though I refuse to wear a winter coat this time of year, the puffer vest is still, sadly, a necessity.

This shrimp scampi recipe is so full of bright flavors and healthy greens and it is so easy to make that even beginners can join in on the fun.

Homemade Shrimp Scampi with Kale

Cold, windy weather? May you become an afterthought!

Healthy meals to cook don’t have to be hard! If you don’t know how to make shrimp scampi, don’t worry. All you need is one pan and 30 minutes. 

Traditional shrimp scampi sauce involves butter, garlic, and white wine.

That’s it.

Plus, it is really easy to make homemade scampi sauce!

Not convinced? Check out this video I made for you to show you just how simple it is!

If you are a novice, the only thing you need to remember is to turn down the heat (off if you have a gas range) when you add the wine. Slowly bring it back up to a simmer to cook off the alcohol without igniting it. If it does catch fire, pull the pan away from the stove and shake it until the flames die out, then act like the pro chef you are because you now just officially mastered the art of flambéing your food.

Woo hoo!

Shrimp Scampi Recipe

You may be wondering what the best wine for shrimp scampi may be. Although white wine is the rule of thumb, I prefer to use an off-dry white. You want it to be dry, but not too dry, because a hint of sweetness will bring out the rich flavor of the shrimp instead of competing with it. Too sweet, and your seafood scampi sauce will flop miserably.

Balance, folks. It is the number one secret to culinary success.

For those of you not into alcohol, the white wine can be substituted with something booze-free. Check out the Non-Alcoholic Substitution Chart to learn what you can use in place of the white wine. Just remember, not too sweet, so if you have to tone down grape juice with a splash of vinegar, please do so.

Scampi Recipe

I added kale to my shrimp scampi to give it some color and flavor. Plus, kale is so very good for you. The trick is to wilt the leaves and brighten their color without losing too much volume. You do this by searing it in the scampi sauce for – literally – 30 seconds to a minute. Have your kitchen tongs ready, because you will need to whisk that kale out of the pan almost as soon as you’ve dropped it in there!

Lemon essential oil adds a mild brightness, but feel free to sub in lemon zest if you don’t have any essential oil. Refer to the handy Essential Oil Conversion Chart for how much zest to use.

Now all you have to do is grab that bottle of white and your tank top…. er, light parka, and get that front porch furniture out. Before you know it, we’ll be having dinner outside again!

A Healthy Meal To Cook At Home

How to make Easy Shrimp Scampi with Kale:

What you’ll need:

  • 12 ounces fettuccini
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup good quality white wine
  • 3 ounces fresh baby kale, rinsed and spun
  • 3 drops lemon essential oil diluted in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil (to use lemon zest instead, check the Essential Oil Conversion Chart
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Begin by boiling a pot of salted water for the pasta, then cook it al dente per the package instructions. When done, drain it and set it aside, reserving some of the pasta liquid.
The Best Noodles To Use For Shrimp Scampi Pasta

While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter in a skillet over medium until it is melted, smelling nutty, and beginning to brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add the shrimp and toss occasionally for 2 minutes, or until the shrimp just begins to turn pink. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.

How To Make Scampi Sauce, Begin With Browned Butter
How To Cook Shrimp Scampi
How To Make Shrimp Scampi

Add the wine to the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp to a bowl and set aside.

Add the kale to the skillet and toss immediately until it wilts but is still bright green, about 30 seconds to a minute at most. Remove kale to a separate plate, set aside.

Shrimp Scampi Recipe With Wine
How To Cook Kale

Pour the essential oil mixture over the shrimp. Cover the bowl with a plate and toss several times to coat the shrimp with the essential oil mixture.

How Do I Make Scampi Sauce?

Turn off the heat over the skillet containing the scampi sauce. Add in the pasta, kale, and shrimp, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. If needed, add some of the pasta liquid to thicken things up a bit. Serve on plates garnished with lemon wedges.

A Healthy Dinner Meal


Shrimp Dinner Idea
Healthy Dinner Ideas
Quick and Healthy Dinner Idea
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‘Olive This World’ Instant Pot Chicken Dinner

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Serves: 2 | Total Time: 40 Minutes

So, you’re looking for a chicken dinner idea to cook up for tonight? (Something that tastes great, is healthy, but is fast and easy to make?)

Then you’ll have to try this Instant Pot chicken dinner recipe!

Originally, I created this recipe a few years back before I ever had an Instant Pot. I made it over the stove, and although it turned out wonderfully, it did take quite a while. Chicken with the bone in is like that… you get all the flavor from cooking it with the bones in, but you also have to give it the time it needs.

Ah, then came along the Instant Pot!

Once I got over my fear of cooking with a pressure cooker, I found that I’ve been using it a lot more. Oh, the time it saves… and the flavors it imparts!

You can have this briny, umami-rich chicken dinner on the table in less than an hour. While it’s cooking, you’ll have time to whip up the perfect side dish for this recipe, Fried Comino Potatoes with Pimento, too. 

Hey, I had to use up the pimento that I took out of the olives the first time I ever made this chicken dinner (the pimento-stuffed olives were all I had at the time)!

The result is this wonderful, perfectly paired meal.


‘Olive This World’ Instant Pot Chicken Dinner

Total Time: 40 Minutes

Prep: 10 Minutes / Cook: 30 Minutes (Plus pressure build and release time.)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 chicken leg quarters (thigh/drumstick combo) with skin, bone in
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pinch ground cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 blood orange, cut in half crosswise
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tablespoon chicken base
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons diced green olives, without pimento
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

1. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

2. Set Instant Pot to ‘Saute’. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the Instant Pot, then brown the chicken on the bottom side for 3 minutes, then on the top side for about 5 minutes. You want the skin to be crispy and brown. When done, remove the chicken to a clean plate.

3. Heat the second tablespoon of olive oil in the Instant Pot while it is still on the ‘Saute’ setting. Place the orange halves inside with the cut side down and allow them to sear for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until they begin to char and become fragrant. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.

4. Turn off the Instant Pot and carefully place the steamer rack trivet inside. Whisk the wine, water, lime juice and chicken base together in a large measuring cup, then pour the liquids into the Instant Pot. Place the chicken on the steamer rack, skin side up. Sprinkle the olives over the chicken. If they fall into the liquids, don’t worry. You’ll scoop them up with the sauce later on.

5. Secure the lid onto the Instant Pot and set the steam release valve to the ‘sealed’ position. Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes are up, release the steam manually by carefully tapping the steam release valve to the ‘venting’ position (use a wooden spoon to do this to prevent burning your hands.)

6. Once the pressure is released and the indicator is in the down position, carefully remove the lid. Serve the chicken on plates and ladle the sauce over the top, making sure you get as many olive pieces as you can. Tuck the orange halves next to the chicken. (You can squeeze a little juice over the chicken or let your dinner guests do it themselves as they desire.) Garnish with parsley.

This zangy chicken dinner goes great with a side of Fried Comino Potatoes with Pimento!


Instant Pot Chicken Dinner Idea
Chicken Dinner With Olives and Orange

‘Olive This World’ Instant Pot Chicken Dinner

This umami-rich chicken dinner can be on the table in under an hour with the Instant Pot. Lots of bright, briny flavor!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 678 kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 2 chicken leg quarters (thigh/drumstick combo) with skin, bone in
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 blood orange, cut in half crosswise
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ tablespoon chicken base
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons diced green olives without pimento
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  • Set Instant Pot to 'Saute'. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the Instant Pot, then brown the chicken on the bottom side for 3 minutes, then on the top side for about 5 minutes. You want the skin to be crispy and brown. When done, remove the chicken to a clean plate.
  • Heat the second tablespoon of olive oil in the Instant Pot while it is still on the 'Saute' setting. Place the orange halves inside with the cut side down and allow them to sear for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until they begin to char and become fragrant. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot and carefully place the steamer rack trivet inside. Whisk the wine, water, lime juice and chicken base together in a large measuring cup, then pour the liquids into the Instant Pot. Place the chicken on the steamer rack, skin side up. Sprinkle the olives over the chicken. If they fall into the liquids, don't worry. You'll scoop them up with the sauce later on.
  • Secure the lid onto the Instant Pot and set the steam release valve to the 'sealed' position. Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes are up, release the steam manually by carefully tapping the steam release valve to the 'venting' position (use a wooden spoon to do this to prevent burning your hands.)
  • Once the pressure is released and the indicator is in the down position, carefully remove the lid. Serve the chicken on plates and ladle the sauce over the top, making sure you get as many olive pieces as you can. Tuck the orange halves next to the chicken. (You can squeeze a little juice over the chicken or let your dinner guests do it themselves as they desire.) Garnish with parsley.
Keyword chicken in the instant pot, instant pot meals, umami chicken recipes
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Cod with French Herbs in a Light Mustard Sauce

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Serves: 2 | Total Time: 15 Minutes

The first time I ever made this recipe, I was a single gal living in a little rental cabin on a serene lake in Putnam County, NY. I loved that place, and this recipe brings back fond memories of that time. 

This recipe became my go-to favorite when ever I was short on time and needed something healthy. I’ve made it for friends and passed the recipe along to family, and it gets rave reviews every time. I think it’s because this fish dish is just so incredibly simple and fast to make, yet tastes so good. 

You can whip this cod meal up for lunch since its so fast and light. It is very low in carbs, only 2 grams to be exact, so you won’t get a food coma after eating it – perfect for you go-getters who haven’t a minute to spare for slowing down! 

For dinner, I really like to dress a side of escarole with lemon juice and stick it on the plate with the cod. The bitter leaves with the lemon and mustard really works! 

Whoever said healthy, wholesome, gourmet meals couldn’t be easy and fast to make?


Cod with French Herbs in a Light Mustard Sauce

Total Time: 15 Minutes

Prep: 5 Minutes / Cook: 10 Minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 6-oz. cod filets

RECIPE DIRECTIONS:

Whisk all but the last two ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Brown the cod filets ever so slightly in the oil, about a minute on each side. If they stick to the pan, use a metal spatula to loosen them gently while being careful not to break them apart.

Reduce heat to medium and add the mustard mixture over the fish in the skillet. Spoon any sauce that drips off into the pan back onto the filets. Cover and simmer for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until the fish begins to flake but still maintains its shape.

Serve the filets on plates with a lemon wedge and a side of escarole lettuce drizzled with lemon juice. Garnish with a grind of black pepper. 

If you are not too strict with your carb intake, this dinner goes great with a small side of steamed and buttered wild rice blend and a glass of chilled sauvignon blanc.


Fast and Easy Low Carb Cod Recipe With French Herbs
Cod With French Herbs Easy Recipe

Cod with French Herbs in a Light Mustard Sauce

Short on time? Need a low carb meal that you can whip up in 15 minutes? This easy and healthy recipe is big on flavor, packs in the protein, and has only 2 grams carbs per serving.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 2 people
Calories 440 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cod filets 6 ounces each

Instructions
 

  • Whisk all but the last two ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Brown the cod filets ever so slightly in the oil, about a minute on each side. If they stick to the pan, use a metal spatula to loosen them gently while being careful not to break them apart.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add the mustard mixture over the fish in the skillet. Spoon any sauce that drips off into the pan back onto the filets. Cover and simmer for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until the fish begins to flake but still maintains its shape.
  • Serve the filets on plates with a lemon wedge and a side of escarole lettuce drizzled with lemon juice. Garnish with a grind of black pepper. 
  • If you are not too strict with your carb intake, this dinner goes great with a small side of steamed and buttered wild rice blend and a glass of chilled sauvignon blanc.
Keyword 15 minute meals, cod with french herbs, fast and easy dinners, fast easy healthy recipes, french herbs in cooking, gourmet at home made easy, super easy gourmet recipes
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