Lazy Roast Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese

Goat Cheese Stuffed Roast Chicken | Sippity Sup

I’ve done at least 14 versions of roast chicken over the 5-year life of this blog. There are many reasons for this, starting with the fact: I like lazy roast chicken.

I’m sure you know this, but roast chicken in all its forms is one of the easiest of the completely satisfying meals I know. That’s why I’ve done whole roast birds as a blogger (3 times) and various parts of the poultry roasted many, many more. Typically I’ll roast that part with something delicious and perhaps unusual (sunchokes and plums come to mind). However for those posts I always end up talking about those other things (you know like sunchokes and plums).

Today I thought I’d sing the virtues of lazy roast chicken for the sheer simple beauty of it. I realize the name lazy roast chicken implies some sort of apology is in order. Like I just don’t feel like making anything better. Or worse– maybe you think I think you don’t deserve anything better. Yet I promise there’s no need for you to feel slighted and there’s no need for me to apologize for lazy roast chicken. Even for the repetition of the phrase lazy roast chicken. I can’t seem to help myself.

Roast chicken is a welcome and infinitely variable dish. It’s acceptable as dinner party fare and it works as a lazy weeknight meal. In fact I might even start a feature here called Default Chicken. Because like my Default Pasta, it’s easy to bring creative lazy roast chicken to the table with whatever you have on hand– even if all you have on hand is salt and pepper (and chicken, duh). You can’t say that about many dishes. So redundancy be damned. I proud of all 14 versions of lazy roast chicken.

Today’s variation is lazy roast chicken breast, and it’s stuffed. I don’t think I’ve ever done a stuffed breast in all the years of this blog. I stuffed it with a combination of herbs and goat cheese. Herbs are great with chicken. Goat cheese is great with chicken. No redundancy there.

There’s also a delicious sauce I hope you’ll try. I made it with watercress (and a touch of cream. Shhh, I was feeling lazy).

So here you are, one more time. Lazy Roast Chicken. GREG

Goat Cheese Stuffing & Watercress Sauce | Sippity Sup

Roast Chicken Breasts | SIppity Sup

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Roast Chicken Breasts

Ingredients

  • 4 ounce fresh goat cheese (at room temperature)
  • ½ ounce grated pecorino Romano (may substitute Parmesan)
  • ½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 clove minced garlic divided
  • 2 tablespoon minced fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves divided
  • 2 teaspoon minced chives
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 4 chicken breasts (bone in, skin on)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil divided
  • 1 pinch kosher salt plus more for seasoniong
  • 1 pinch freshly cracked black pepper plus more for seasoniong
  • 3 cup trimmed watercress lightly packed (you may substitute arugula
  • 1 cup bay spinach lightly packed
  • ½ cup almonds (coarsely chopped)
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Directions

Set the oven rack in the top position. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Make the stuffing: Combine goat cheese pecorino breadcrumbs, ½ of the minced garlic, parsley, 2 teaspoons thyme, chives, lemon juice, lemon zest, and anchovies (if using). Use a fork to mash the ingredients together. Set aside.

Prepare the chicken: Working 1 breast at a time gently insert your finger under the skin, easing the skin away from the flesh to create a large pocket. Spoon about ¼ of the stuffing into the pocket. Gently smooth the top of the chicken from the outside to distribute the stuffing throughout the pocket. Move to a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining breasts. Drizzle the tops with about ¼ cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle remaining thyme leaves over the breasts. Roast in the oven until deeply golden brown, crisp and cooked through, about 45 minutes depending on the size of the breasts.

Make the watercress sauce: Combine the watercress (or arugula), spinach, almonds, remaining minced garlic, remaining ½ cup olive oil, and cream in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse the machine 5 or 6 times; scrape the sides then run the machine until a smooth consistency is achieved. You may need to scrape the sides 1 or 2 more times to get an even texture. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve: Serve the breasts hot from the oven with the watercress sauce on the side.