Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken with Goat-Cheese and Sausage Stuffing
- SERVINGS: 4
Bite through the crunchy coating and juicy meat of these chicken breasts and you'll be surprised by a soft, creamy goat-cheese center with a hint of spicy cayenne.
- 5 1/2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed, meat crumbled and cooked
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/3 pounds in all)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, sausage, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the parsley.
- With a sharp knife, make an incision along the side of each chicken breast and cut into the middle, making a pocket without cutting through the edges. Fill each breast with the goat-cheese mixture and pinch the cut side of the breast together to seal in the stuffing.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the water. Mix the cornmeal with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Dip each chicken breast in the cornmeal mixture to coat lightly, then into the egg mixture, and then back in the cornmeal.
- In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and continue cooking until golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes longer.
There's a lot going on in this dish, from the Italian sausage to the acidic goat cheese and the crunchy cornmeal. A light, slightly chilled Pinot Noir from Burgundy in France or from Oregon has the fruitiness and acidity to make a perfect partner.