Rush Hour

I used to think that stuffed chicken or pork chops or steaks were complex entrees to make. But that was before I discovered that the consistency of the filling and its delivery mechanism can make these kinds of dishes a breeze. This month's case in point is tangy Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts.

The key to this dish is softening the stuffing slightly by mixing yogurt with the goat cheese so that it can easily be piped into the pockets that are cut into the chicken breasts. If the mixture is too hard, stuffing the breasts will be next to impossible. If it is too soft, it will literally slide out of the pockets after being piped in. A consistency not unlike mashed potatoes or heavy icing is necessary and that's exactly what we've got here.

The truly wonderful thing about this dish is that you can actually stuff the chicken prior to cooking and keep it chilled until you are ready to sauté it. That tip can take this from a quick 45 minute meal to one that literally takes less than 30 minutes! It's perfect when you plan to be busy during the day, but want a special meal with family and friends anyway. Add some hot cooked pasta to serve with the tomato sauce and fresh salad and you've got a great dinner. Who said elegant meals need to wait until the weekend?

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Goat Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1/4 c. yogurt
  • 2 tsp. Italian seasonings
  • 2 garlic cloves -- minced
  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 c. tomato sauce -- choose the variety of your choice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix the goat cheese, yogurt, Italian seasoning and garlic. Place the mixture in a plastic bag. Set aside.

Using a sharp knife cut a pocket into each of the chicken breast halves. Snip one end off of the plastic bag holding the cheese mixture and carefully fill each pocket cavity with the cheese mixture.

Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet and sauté the chicken breasts on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Add the tomato sauce and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes