For tonight’s dinner I made goat cheese and ham stuffed chicken with a side of roasted vegetables. One of my all time favorite meals is chicken cordon bleu and this kind of harkens to it but without some of the heavier aspects. No cream sauce, no breading, I kept it light yet my cooking method ensured tender, juicy chicken that needed no condiments beyond its stuffing.
I wanted to keep our meal on the healthier side of things tonight, knowing that tomorrow will be chicken Parmesan with pasta, done the good old traditional way, fried and breaded, so carbs and fat galore. I think it’s okay to eat foods like that in moderation, even on a weight loss journey. It keeps you from feeling deprived and making it at home still ensures that your ingredients are high quality, so look out for that to be posted tomorrow.
But back to tonight’s dinner.
Here is the array I had to work with, this big pack of chicken covers tomorrow nights dinner too, I use three breasts for each meal. I had a cauliflower, golden beet, carrots, onion and a bell pepper to use up. I also snipped a little Rosemary from outside, this is the only herb I currently grow aside of mint but it grows so well and I love having it on hand.
I peeled the carrots and beets and chopped all of the veggies into an inch or so dice, the onion and bell pepper to a smaller dice. I tossed them with a healthy pour of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, thyme, parsley, poultry seasoning and paprika from the spice cabinet along with the fresh rosemary. They got roasted at 425 degrees for half an hour, taken out for a stir and back in for another half hour until some bits were dark brown and caramelized.
For the chicken, I trimmed off any fatty bits and sliced a pocket into each breast. I divided a four ounce log of herbed goat cheese into three sections and mashed it down between two slices of ham like a sandwich, folded the stuffed ham up and inserted it into the chicken which I then rubbed with a little olive oil, fresh rosemary, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder, paprika and parsley. I placed them onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and covered them snugly with another sheet of parchment on top, folding and crimping the edges of both sheets together to form a pocket. These were baked at 425 degrees for 32 minutes until the juices ran clear when sliced. Because they were stuffed I didn’t trust my meat thermometer to give an accurate read and went with the slide method, I have to cut up food for the kiddo anyhow.
Let me tell you, the chicken was so juicy and flavorful, this method really does prevent that awful dried out breast situation that baking can often result in. I’d suggest trying the cooking method for any variety of chicken breast, it really was so great compared to without the parchment. And the roasted veggies were great, as roasted veggies always are.
In the photo of the cooked food on the stove, see that pot there? I got that in the picture on purpose because I think this is a worthy tip. That’s all of the trimmings from the big pack of chicken that I boiled with two cups of water and some salt. From every family pack of chicken breast that I buy, I generate maybe a half to a full pound of waste after trimming. This is a huge amount to be throwing away with no use two or three times a month, and I hate to waste, so I boil that up to make some basic stock which I will use to make lunch for me and my daughter tomorrow. Decent quality stock can cost two dollars a carton even on sale, so why not create my own with what would’ve gone to the garbage can? Additionally, the cats can eat the chicken after I strain it from the stock. Wasting nothing works for me.
This meal was largely kid approved, she tasted the beet and it got the wave but this was a new food for her. Everything else went down the hatch with grace. The meal got rave reviews from Henry the cat who even forgot his manners in his quest for any forgotten morsels, he feasted on chicken tidbits the whole time we ate, he kept coming back for more.
Seriously, try the parchment method, it worked extremely well!