This cheesy mouth-watering recipe was inspired by my friend Jen who makes her own goat cheese. One taste and I was blessed beyond my best goat cheese dreams. Our son Jack is very close with Rowhan, and our whole family loves spending time at their rustic farm, high on the hill in Sebastopol.
Jen seasoned this particular batch of goat cheese with hand-picked lemon thyme from her garden, then added a touch of granulated garlic, salt and pepper. The flavor of lemon thyme is light and clean, while the addition of fresh chive gives it an elegant finish.
If you buy a plain quality goat cheese, you can add the ingredients at home and make it yourself. Just mix in the ingredients in a food processor and let the flavors meld in a air-tight container overnight in the refrigerator. To make lemon thyme goat cheese: In a food processor, combine goat cheese, lemon thyme, garlic, chives, salt and pepper until well blended. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This can be prepared up to 48 hours in advance.Lemon Thyme can be purchased in most specialty food stores like Whole Foods or Oliver’s Markets.
For the pretty purple side dish I made roasted beets purchased from my favorite Farmer’s Market, Imwallee’s in Santa Rosa. The trick with the beets is easy. Wash and dry the beats then drizzle them with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Then wrap them in tin foil leaving a small hole at the top. Put them into a shallow baking pan and bake them at 350º for 90 minutes, or until tender with a knife. When they are cool, peel off the outer skin with a serrated knife, then refrigerate for one hour.
The purple color of the beets is a show stopper when paired with the stuffed chicken and sauteed spinach.Because I couldn’t get enough of the gorgeous purple color, I drizzled some of the beet juice leftover at the bottom of the tin foil packets on top of the chicken! I hope your family will be blessed with this healthy style of everyday gourmet cooking.
From my Christian home to yours, Bon Appetit!
- 6 ounces lemon thyme goat cheese, available at specialty food stores
- 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets
- 1 bunch fresh spinach
- 10 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- juice of ½ lemon, seeds removed
- 2 roasted peppers, skin removed and seeded, cut into 2 inch strips
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup white wine
- 6 long scallions, trimmed
- Saute Spinach: In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of EVOO and saute 10 cloves smashed garlic until golden. Add spinach, season with a ¼ tsp of salt and pepper. Saute stirring frequently until soft, yet still bright green, 2-3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425º. Place chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap; gently pound with a meat mallet to flatten evenly to ¼ inch thickness. Be careful not to break or tear holes in the meat.
- Fill and roll: Season cutlets with salt and pepper. Layer with goat cheese, spinach, and one strip of roasted pepper. Roll and close with toothpicks.
- Heat large skillet to medium high, add 3 tbsp of EVOO. Brown the stuffed breast on one side, 1-2 minutes. Gently turn and brown the other side, 2 minutes. Add butter and wine to skillet. Transfer skillet to oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken is opaque.
- Saute scallions in 1 tbsp EVOO until brown and cripsy. Set aside.
- Plate the dish: Place one serving of sauteed spinach in the center of a pre-warmed plate, place chicken on top. Garnish with a drizzle pan drippings and beet juice. Top with 1 crispy scallion. Serve with a side of room temperature roasted beets.
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