Are there foods stuffed with cheese that aren’t delicious? I haven’t encountered one yet. This is one of my favorite dinners to make. It’s one of those great ones that sounds impressive but is really pretty simple. This recipe is really adaptable to different flavors too, so you can change it up depending on your preferences or mood.
You will need:
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (usually one pack)
- 3 oz goat cheese
- 2 Tbs cream cheese
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp dried basil
- 2 Tbsp grated parmesan
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Mayonnaise (use the real stuff)
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
This recipe feeds 3
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. While that is heating, prep your chicken breasts by simply trimming off any fat, and clean up any loose pieces. Then slide your knife carefully into the side of each breast so that it runs down the whole thing. It’s easiest to just keep your other hand pressed gently against the top of the breast while you do this. Don’t worry about making the incision too big at this stage, just kind of get it started.
Once you have an incision, you can kind of reach a finger in to make sure the opening goes almost to the opposite end, and is wide enough to stuff delicious cheese into. (If you wanted, you could also pound your chicken flat instead and roll it up like a roulade. I save that method for days when I have some frustration to get out.)
When all three breasts have a pocket in them, set them in an ungreased 9×13 baking dish for the time being. Now you can make your cheese filling. This really is quite simple. In a small bowl, add 3 ounces of goat cheese. I just used plain this time, but if you have a flavored variety, those work great here. Now add a couple spoonfuls of cream cheese and kind of mash them together with the spoon to combine. Highly technical stuff here.
Now for the adaptable part I mentioned. Add in your garlic powder and cayenne, or substitute in any spices you prefer. Personally I like the bit of warmth that the cayenne provides. Mix those into your filling and then, a little at a time, stuff the mixture into the pockets in the chicken, filling the bottom/back of the pocket first. Don’t bother trying to be neat or use a spoon. Just accept the mess and use your fingers. It’s easier. Just be sure to pinch the chicken together at the opening when you are done to seal it.
Once your chicken is stuffed, it’s time to bread. Combine the grated parmesan, basil, panko breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. You could use normal dried breadcrumbs instead, but personally I am a firm believer in breading always being crispy. Now, the traditional method for breading chicken involves triple dipping it in three different bowls, and then chilling it for an hour. If you for some reason want to get more dishes dirty and use up more time, feel free to use that technique. It was what I used to do before learning this trick. Simply coat each chicken breast in mayonnaise on all sides. It shouldn’t work but it does. It actually makes the chicken more moist, and the breading will stick well too.
Simply dip each chicken breast into the breading to coat evenly on all sides, and then return them to your baking dish. Move them to the preheated oven to bake for 25-30 minutes until fully cooked. Then turn the broiler on for just a couple minutes to brown the crust a bit. Keep an eye on them the whole time!
This is simple to make, but are delicious and impressive enough for company. As you can see in the photo, the best part (besides their consumption) is cutting into them and watching all the creamy cheese filling gush out. Mmm! Just serve them with whatever vegetable is in season. Or whatever vegetable looks good in the frozen steam bag section at the store. No one will know. Enjoy!