January 28, 2006

Grilled Chicken Breasts stuffed with Chevre and Figs

I came up with this simple recipe for grilled chicken breasts stuffed with chevre and figs. There are, however, countless variations on the web. Here it is anyway:

To make the fig stuffing

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 medium shallots, finely chopped
10-12 dried Calimyrna figs, finely chopped
1/2 cup pecans, roasted (optional) and coarsely chopped
1 T chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (fresh, coarsely ground)
1/2 cup ruby port
  1. Heat a 7" stainless steel sautee or frying pan.
  2. Add olive oil and heat briefly. Add shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  3. Add figs and pecans. Cook for 5 minutes or so until the figs and shallots start caramelizing a little bit.
  4. Add the rosemary, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute or so.
  5. Add the port. Heat until the port has reduced by half.
  6. Place the fig mixture in a bowl and set aside to cool.
You should have between 1 1/2-2 cups of fig stuffing.

To make the stuffed chicken breasts

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, fat and tenderloins removed
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
4 ounces Chevre (fresh goat) cheese, cut into 4-1 ounce slices
8 large toothpicks
  1. Heat gas or charcoal grill to medium heat (around 400F). Or preheat oven at 350-400F.
  2. Trim the fat and tenderloin part of each chicken breast. Using a meat pounder and plastic bag, pound the meat down to 1/4" thick and even size. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread 1 ounce of chevre cheese over one of the chicken breasts. Add about 1/3 cup of the fig mixture. The exact amount depends on the size of the chicken breast. You want it to actually close. Close and secure with 1 -2 wooden toothpicks.
  4. Repeat with the rest of the chicken breasts.
  5. Bake or grill for 15-20 minutes or until done.
You can serve these puppies with roasted veggies, roasted shallots, baked or grilled yams, roasted potatoes, whatever...

Note: I used Trevor Jones Jonsey Tawny Port NV which really is more ruby than tawny in fruit flavor, it's cheap but tastes good and comes in a screwcap bottle.