Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Boursin Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This is my version of chicken and potatoes – a comfort food that I crave almost once a week. Sweet potatoes provide beautiful color and are healthier than their white counterparts. Plus they have recently been shown to have anti-aging benefits – and who doesn’t want help in that area?

I used to be a boneless, skinless chicken breast kind of girl. Sure they’re more expensive, but they’re quick and easy to cook. However, one afternoon I asked my helpful husband to pick up some chicken on his way home from work. Instead of my tiny white cutlets of meat, he arrived home with huge bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. What was I supposed to do with these?

I usually stuff some homemade compound butter under the skin of roasting chickens, but it was winter and I didn’t have fresh herbs lying around. So I poked around the refrigerator and found some Boursin cheese and – voila – this recipe was born.

Boursin Chicken Breasts with Whipped Sweet Potatoes
4 split chicken breasts (bone in skin on)
1 package Boursin Garlic & Fine Herbs (not the spreadable variety)
7 tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, stock or water
3 sweet potatoes
4 tbsp heavy cream
Salt, white and black pepper
Fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 425˚. In a stock pot, heat about 8-10 cups of salted water. Slice or chop the potatoes into even chunks. Once the water starts boiling, throw in the potatoes and cook until tender when pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, place the chicken in a 9x13 inch pyrex dish and pat dry (I only had 3 chicken breasts for the pictures but that is a long, disturbing story involving 2 cats, a toddler and a snow shovel). Starting at the larger end, gently pull the skin away from the meat with your fingers. Then, again using just your hands, stuff some of the cheese under the skin. Don’t worry about spreading it out evenly or making it pretty. The cheese will melt and spread out in the oven. Then crumble a pat of butter on each breast and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Pour some chicken stock or water around the bottom of the chicken to keep the juices from burning. It won’t look gorgeous – see? But trust me on this - it will be gorgeous!

Cook for 45 minutes, turning once if your oven cooks unevenly. If the skin starts browning too much, simply tent some foil over the top.

While the chicken is cooking, drain the sweet potatoes and toss into your food processor.

Add the cream and 3 tbsp of butter and puree until silky smooth. Season with salt and white pepper.

Once the chicken is finished, you can reduce the pan sauce if you want – it’s pretty darned good. But we usually just dig in – my family is notorious for lacking patience. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy! (I told you the chicken would be beautiful!)

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