Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What's Cooking Wednesday - Chicken and Artichoke

It's sometimes hard to find recipes that you like as well as are good for you while training for triathlons. I want to share some of my favorite recipes that I love making. If you "tri" them let me know what you think.

Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breasts

The active link above is for the original recipe from

Artichoke-Stuffed Chicken Breasts
From: Weber's Big Book of Grilling
A tasty departure from the ordinary. If flare-ups occur, finish these breasts over Indirect Medium heat.

For the stuffing:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 jar (7 ounces) artichoke hearts
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons minced sun-dried tomatoes (oil packed)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

4 large boneless chicken breast halves(with skin), about 8 ounces each
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To make the stuffing: In a medium sauté pan combine the olive oil, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Set the pan over medium-high heat to warm the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain, rinse, and coarsely chop the artichokes and add along with the garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Add the goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil. Mix to evenly distribute the ingredients and allow to cool.

Rinse the chicken breasts under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place each breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and, with a meat mallet or back of a small pan, pound to flatten to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Place the breasts, skin side down, and spread each one with a quarter of the stuffing. Fold the breasts in half over the stuffing and use toothpicks to skewer the sides closed. Brush or spray both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the breasts over Direct Medium heat until the meat juices run clear and the cheese is melted, 8 to 12 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time. Remove from the grill and carefully remove the toothpicks. Serve warm. Makes 4 servings.

Important notes/comments/changes:

I could never get the end result to look like the picture. They must use specially grown chickens that have mutant breast meat the flatten out perfectly so the fold thingy works. I finally said screw it. I use two flattened chicken breast that are the same size and just make a sandwich out of it. Place the stuffing between two flattened chicken breasts, forget about the toothpicks and use a large flat spatula to flip the chicken.

I can never find crumbled goat cheese. Usually the cheese is in a tube and when I try to crumble the cheese, it doesn't crumble. The pan is usually quite hot when the cheese goes in and it kind of melts and mixes in with the other ingrediants anyways. So when the chicken is on the grill, the cheese is already melted. I just watch the chicken to decide when everything is done, look for clear juices.

Never forget to spray/brush the chicken with oil before placing on the grill. This helps the chicken release from the grill when you want to flip it. The salt and pepper are very important as well, adds to the final flavor.

I get artichoke hearts that are in a flavored marinade. Adds to the overall flavor. So don't rinse the artichokes when you take them out of the jar.

Try this recipe out and let me know what you think. Yummy.


Curly Su said...

cool! i love artichokes...i'm definitely going to try this soon!

TriSaraTops said...

mmmmm..artichokes, goat cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes are pretty much my favorite things to eat. Aside from ice cream and chocolate of course. :) Yum-O! Will try soon!

qcmier said...

So for the time conscience folks, how long do you think it would take to prepare this feast? I need a grill too.

Keryn said...

That sounds GOOD! It's on my list for next week's meals!