Roast Chicken Breasts are a simple, healthy, and flavorful way to have a delicious meal fast. There are no real tricks to it. But I do like to stuff them with something interesting. In this case an herbed goat cheese. I usually make more than we can eat at one meal because leftover chicken can be used in many easy to pull together meals.
- 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
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.