Have you ever sat down to a meal and felt a deep sense of pleasure?
Hunger enticing aromas swirling about your place at the table and causing a most soul filled joy. And at first bite you pause, relishing the beauty of the flavors dancing on your tongue.
My culinary students often hear me say “food should not only satisfy our hunger, it should feed our soul, nourish our body, while delighting our senses”.
This dish completely delights my senses.
Filled with fresh diced tart apples, sweet, spicy shallots, earthy sage and best of all… stinky cheese.
I love stinky cheese. Just ask the Bennett Crew.
On occasion they’ll open the refrigerator door and get a huge whiff of my stinky cheese. Of course, moaning and quickly closing the frig door for fear they might pass out from the overpowering scent.
But once that stinky cheese makes it into stuffed chicken breasts with apples, shallots and sage… all is forgiven. 🙂
Brie and Apple Stuffed Chicken with Apple Cider Pan Sauce
Stuffing chicken breasts is a simple task. Just takes a little patience and a little practice and you’ll have it mastered in no time at all. I promise! I’ve attached two demonstration photos at the end of the recipe.
If you love this recipe, you’ll absolutely love the recipe Baked Chicken Breasts with Cream Cheese Stuffing and Tomato Sauce from my new blogging friend Chica Andaluza. While you’re there, check out Chica’s other delicious recipes! Happy Cooking!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, preferably organic or locally naturally raised
3 tablespoons high heat oil
1 heaping tablespoon diced shallot
2 apples, peeled, cored and small diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1 – 1 1/2 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
4 ounces Brie cheese, sliced
Preheat the oven to 400F.
For the apples: Heat one tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add the shallots and let them cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Then add the diced apples. Cook the apples until somewhat golden and tender about 5-7 minutes.
Mix in the chopped fresh sage and sauté a minute longer. Season with a little salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
For the chicken: At the largest end of each chicken breast, make a deep horizontal cut (pocket). Stuff each chicken breast with a slice of brie and then the apple mixture.
Season the outside of the chicken breasts with salt and Pepper.
To cook the Chicken:
In an ovenproof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on medium high. When the oil is hot brown the chicken breasts on both sides, being careful when turning so the filling doesn’t fall out. If needed use toothpicks to secure pocket. If you do not have an ovenproof skillet, brown the chicken breasts and then transfer to a baking dish and proceed with apple cider and bake according to directions below. This method also works well if preparing 6 stuffed chicken breasts.
Once the chicken is browned, add the apple cider and place in a preheated oven and let them cook until done, about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160-165F.
When the chicken is done, remove from the oven. Place the chicken on a platter and keep warm. Heat the remaining pan juices and sauce from the cooked chicken and apple cider and bring it to a lively simmer. Add a bit more apple cider if needed (I like extra sauce). Add a splash of brandy or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to pull all those delicious flavors together.
Taste for seasoning, adding additional salt and pepper if needed.
Pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with fresh chopped Italian parsley and serve immediately.
I love this dish served with simple roasted brussel sprouts or broccoli. Also, in the spring this is delightful with roasted or steamed fresh spring asparagus.
Stuffing a Chicken Breast
At the plumpest end of a chicken breast, cut a deep pocket. Cut slowly, and if for some reason you cut through the opposite side, not too worry. You can still stuff your chicken breast. It will just need some extra care and patience when browning.
Once you’ve made your pocket, slide the cheese in first. With a small teaspoon fill the pocket with the apples. Using your fingers to “fully stuff” the chicken and make sure the filling is secure.
Use this method for any type filling. Ham and Swiss or Gruyère, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and feta, olive tapenade, fresh herbs and Gruyère, fresh rosemary and cheddar. Yum!