This post for Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Panzanella is sponsored by Girard’s Salad Dressing. Thank you for supporting brands that make Food, Folks and Fun possible.
This Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast is so succulent and juicy. It’s served on top of a bed of vibrant Panzanella.
One thing we do often is have folks over for dinner. It not only gives us a chance to get to know friends, neighbors, and coworkers better but it also gives me the chance to exercise my culinary creativity. I’m always looking for new ways to boost flavor in my dishes. Lately I’ve been using salad dressing as a marinade, basting sauce, and a cooking liquid. I like that it’s an easy way to build flavors in a dish, like in this recipe for Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast with Panzanella; I used Girard’s Champagne Dressing as a coating for the bread cubes, in the filling and as the dressing on the Panzanella.
Girard’s Champagne Dressing is one of my all-time favorite dressings. It’s made with white wine, white wine vinegar and blended with spices and herbs. It pairs well with Italian, French, American, and fusion recipes like this Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast with Panzanella. It brings together two different dishes that are inspired from Italian and French cooking; Panzanella and stuffed chicken. To me the Champagne dressing has both Italian and French notes to it, so I thought it would be pair perfectly with the goat cheese stuffing and Panzanella in this dish.
Cook’s Note – Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast with Panzanella
- The Panzanella veggie mixture can be made up to a day in advance; cover and chill until ready to use.
- The bread cubes can be made up to 2 days in advance; place in zip-top plastic bag and store at room temperature. Add the bread cubes to the Panzanella just before serving.
- The chicken filling can be made up to 2 days in advance; cover and chill until ready to use.
- 4 cups Italian bread cubes (1-inch)
- ½ cup Girard’s Champagne Dressing, divided
- 1 dry pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 (14-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 large shallot, minced
- ½ cup pesto
- Salt and pepper
- Torn basil leaves, for garnish
- CHICKEN FILLING:
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped shallots (about 6-7medium shallots)
- 2 Tablespoons Girard’s Champagne Dressing
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8-9 ounces each)
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 ½ cups Italian Seasoned Panko bread crumbs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- Torn basil leaves, for garnish
- FOR THE PANZANELLA: Move oven rack to middle position and preheat to 375 degrees F. In large bowl toss bread cubes and ¼ cup of dressing until cubes are evenly coated. Transfer cubes to parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 14-16 minutes, turning cubes half-way through baking. Remove pan from oven and place on wire rack, cool bread cubes completely.
- While bread cubes bake, add tomatoes, beans, cucumber, and shallots together in medium bowl. In small bowl whisk together remaining ¼ cup dressing and pesto. Pour mixture over veggies and toss until evenly coated. Chill until ready to use.
- FOR THE CHICKEN FILLING: In large skillet add olive oil and preheat over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add dressing, increase heat to medium-high, and stir constantly until liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add goat cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir until combined and cool mixture to room-temperature.
- FOR THE CHICKEN: Trim breasts of any fat or membrane and pat dry with paper towels. Make a pocket in chicken by starting on thicker side of each breast, and use a sharp paring or boning knife to cut into breast about ½-inch from one end. Make pocket by slicing down chicken breast to about ½ inch from end on other side. Repeat with other breasts.
- Fill each breast with a quarter of goat cheese filling, evenly distributing mixture throughout pocket from end to end. Gently press on top of each breast to close pocket, and season each breast generously with salt and pepper.
- In 3 shallow dishes (pie plates work well), add flour to first dish, egg to second dish, and breadcrumbs in third. Working with 1 breast at a time, dredge with flour, shaking off excess. Dip breast into egg, coating evenly, and quickly place in breadcrumbs to drench and coat evenly. Set on plate and repeat with remaining breasts. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and place plate in refrigerator to allow breading to set while oven preheats.
- Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is very hot, very carefully add two breasts to pan and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Adjust temperature if oil seems to get too hot or begins to smoke. Move breasts to parchment-lined baking sheet, and repeat with remaining two breasts.
- Bake chicken 16-22 minutes, or until interior of chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
- TO FINISH: Just before serving add bread cubes to veggies and toss until combined. Transfer to serving platter and top with basil. Place chicken on top of Panzanella, garnish with basil and serve immediately.
First created by Chef Pierre Girard in 1939, all of Girard’s Salad Dressings are made with the care and unique flavor found in a chef’s touch that inspires delicious meals.