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 Chicken with Goat Cheese and Figs

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PostSubject: Chicken with Goat Cheese and Figs   October 30th 2011, 4:33 pm


Chicken with Goat Cheese and Figs


This is a simple and elegant preparation for boneless, skinless chicken breast.


INGREDIENTS

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick)
4 medium shallots, sliced paper thin
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups port wine (tawny or reserve)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 ounces chèvre (fresh goat cheese)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped thyme
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 pounds total)
2 tablespoons olive oil
10 medium fresh figs, halved lengthwise

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When it foams, add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the port to the frying pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to simmer until the port is reduced by half, about 6 to 10 minutes. Add the broth and reduce by half again (you should have about 2 cups); remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, mix together the reserved shallots, cheese, and 1 tablespoon of the thyme in a small bowl until evenly incorporated. Divide into 6 portions and set aside.
Make pockets in the chicken by laying 1 breast on a cutting board and using a sharp knife to slice horizontally about three-quarters of the way through the meat. Move the knife in a fanning motion to slightly enlarge the pocket (be careful not to cut all the way through); repeat with the remaining chicken breasts. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper and stuff the divided shallot filling into the pockets.
Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, add 3 of the chicken breasts and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and repeat. Remove and repeat with the remaining chicken. Once all the chicken is browned, place it on a baking sheet and bake until it’s cooked all the way through (the juices will run clear when pierced with a knife), about 20 minutes.
About 5 minutes before the chicken is ready, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Once it foams, add the figs, cut side down, and the remaining thyme and cook until the figs are well browned. Add the reserved port sauce and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and stir until the butter has melted and the sauce is heated through. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. When the chicken is ready, transfer to a serving platter, top with the sauce and figs, and serve.

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