Garlic Herb Stuffed Chicken


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This dish came together the other night when having my family over for dinner.  I needed to make something easy and hearty after a day of work.  I started by making a homemade red sauce with roasted red peppers to go over some whole wheat angel hair pasta.  While the red peppers were roasting in the oven I threw in a garlic bulb to roast, you never know when you will want roasted garlic.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with the chicken, but the breasts were really thick so I started by cutting slits through the center 3/4 of the way through.  Initially I did this planning to butterfly to cut down on cooking time.  Once I made the slit I decided to stuff them with herbs and garlic instead.  I cut a handful of herbs from my window garden and mixed them with the roasted garlic and cracked black pepper to make the stuffing.  Dabbed with butter on top, it baked perfectly staying moist and full of flavor.

I recreated this dish a few days later, to use up the remaining sauce.  This time I served it with spaghetti squash and topped with garlic sauteed mushrooms.  So good and so easy!  You can use any herbs you have on hand, I happened to use a different combination each time I’ve made this.

Ingredients: 

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2-4 cloves of roasted garlic
handful of fresh herbs, chopped (I used thyme, parsley, and chives)
1 tsp black pepper, more for serving
2-4 pads of butter
2 cups of fresh sliced mushrooms
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Directions: 

1. Start by roasting your garlic:  cut the top few centimeters off the cloves leaving skin intact.  Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then loosely wrap in foil.  Place in oven at 400 F for 45 minutes.  This works well if you are roasting red peppers for sauce or spaghetti squash for serving.  Otherwise I try to roast garlic a few times a week so I have some on hand for use during the week.

2. Cut through the chicken longways nearly the entire way through, keeping it as one piece to stuff.

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3. Mix together your chopped fresh herbs, minced roasted garlic, and black pepper in a small dish.  Rub this mixture generously in the center of the chicken, then line the breasts in a small baking dish.

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4. Rub any remaining herb mixture on top of the chicken and dab with butter, be generous.

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5. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.

2014-03-07 20.16.016. For serving I sauteed the mushrooms with 2 cloves of minced fresh garlic, 1-2 pads of butter, and red pepper flakes on medium/low for 10 minutes.

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Enjoy!

 

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Roasted Garlic Red Skin Mashed Potatoes

No Fall or Winter feast is complete without mashed potatoes.  Ever since I was a kid I have been a mashed potato snob, I always demanded the real thing, none of that boxed stuff.  While I love classic mashed potatoes, I can’t help but try to enhance it.  I recently gained a new appreciation for roasted garlic, the flavor is soft yet powerful at the same time.  If roasting garlic seems frivolous or too time consuming, try popping a few cloves in the oven with a main dish to roast for sides (such as this one) or smearing on bread.  The process is totally worth the effort in my opinion.

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Ingredients:

– 2 lbs of red skin potatoes, diced evenly

– 1/4 stick of butter (or more to taste)

– 2 Tbsp fresh chives, roughly chopped

– 1/4 cup of milk (more or less for consistency)

– 1/4 cup of sour cream or plain greek yogurt.

– 3-4 cloves of garlic, roasted and mashed

– salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Roast the garlic:  Cut the top off of the cloves leaving skin intact, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Loosely wrap in foil and roast in oven at 325-350 for 45-60 minutes.  I stuck this little foil pouch in with the ham while it was cooking to save time.  To prepare garlic for mixing, remove roasted cloves from oven and push pulp out of skin and mash with a fork or knife.

2. Prepare your potatoes and cover with cold salted water, bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.  Try to not overcook.

3. When the potatoes are cooked, drain water and mix with remaining ingredients in standing mixer or hand mixer, take care to not over work.

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Enjoy!