May 29, 1024 – Chicken with Herbed Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad

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Tonight we made one of our favorites: Ina Garten’s Chicken with Herbed Goat Cheese. We paired it with an arugula salad with black, oil-cured olives and a mustard vinaigrette.

The recipe feeds six, but we, of course, are only two. (We have managed to get Six at the Table, in spite of living in a typically small New York City apartment.) Cutting a a recipe into thirds can be hard, but in this case, it’s very easy. We used about two ounces of herbed goat cheese and two big basil leaves per chicken breast. We made one addition, which is totally optional: we added a couple of sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips, to each breast. We’re not sure if we saw Ina Garten do this on her show or if we came up with the idea ourselves, but it is a nice touch.

There’s nothing to chop, so prep only took about 5 – 10 minutes. All you need to do is slide the goat cheese, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes (if using) under the chicken skin. The order doesn’t matter too much, but we’ve found that adding the cheese first helps hold the other ingredients in place. When you’re done rubbing with olive oil and salting and peppering, it should look something like this (the lighter spots under the skin are the goat cheese, while the darker ones are the sun-dried tomatoes and basil):

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Chicken breasts on the bone take a while to cook: at least 30 to 40 minutes for this and most other recipes we’ve tried. This gives you time to clean up your kitchen before the food comes out of the oven, which is a must if it’s small like ours, set the table, etc. It’s always a good idea to use a meat thermometer to check the chicken’s internal temperature; there’s no such thing as medium-rare chicken!

The chicken was juicy, the goat cheese provided a nice bite, and the sun-dried tomatoes gave the dish some more depth of flavor.We paired this with a Riesling for another lovely dinner.

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