Full disclosure: it took me ages to come up with a proper name for this recipe, because at home we call it ‘chicken-y bacon-y goats’ cheese-y thing’. At least once a month, when I’m stuck for any original ideas regarding what to make for dinner, I will turn to James and say ‘Chicken-y bacon-y goats’ cheese-y thing?’ and he’ll say ‘Works for me’, and that will be that. I have stated before that I think chicken and goats’ cheese make excellent bedfellows. Also: goat cheese; goat’s cheese; goats’ cheese. I go with the latter because I think it denotes milk from multiple goats, which seems to make the most sense, but who knows? Also, well done if you got to the end of this paragraph without falling asleep.
I have been making this recipe, or some variation of it, for years. There are lots of versions of ‘chicken breast stuffed with some sort of cheese and wrapped in some sort of meat’ recipes on the internet, so this certainly isn’t an original concept, but this is how I make it.
James and I are by no means vegetarians, but we’ve been eating less meat recently, having it as a treat rather than a staple of every meal. This means a recipe like this is now something of a luxury, rather than a standard weeknight dinner, and it’s made me rather fond of it – hence it suddenly popping up on this blog.
You may think that stuffing chicken with something and wrapping it in something else seems like kind of a tricky faff, but it’s far easier than it perhaps sounds and it only takes ten minutes to put together. I am kind of lazy about this sort of thing and I don’t find it too onerous. The chicken also goes well with most grains, potatoes, salads, and greens, so it’s pretty versatile in that you can serve it with whatever you have knocking about.
Notes: This recipe will feed four, assuming you make a side dish, or you can do what James and I often do and eat two pieces of chicken for dinner and have the other two the next day. Also, all quantities are easily halved.
The side dish in the pictures is a lentil salad type deal that I often make. It is very, very simple so I haven’t included the recipe, but let me know if you have a desperate yearning to know what is in it.
4 garlic cloves
handful fresh thyme
handful of tomatoes (optional)
4 chicken breasts
200g soft goats’ cheese
1 pack streaky bacon
- Preheat oven to 210C/190C fan/gas 5. Grab some sort of roasting dish or tray. Roughly chop your thyme, crush your garlic, and set both aside. If you’re using tomatoes, cut them in half or into quarters (depending on size) and chuck them in your roasting tray.
- Lay your chicken breasts flat, and cut a slit into the side of each, trying not to cut them in half completely. Cram about a quarter of your goats’ cheese into each chicken breast, then wrap each up tightly in streaky bacon – you need about three rashers for each. Lay them in your tray, directly on top of the tomatoes if using.
- Rub each piece of chicken with crushed garlic, and sprinkle with thyme. Season with plenty of pepper – you can use a little salt too if you like but I usually don’t, because bacon is inherently salty. Drizzle the whole thing with a little olive oil, then bake for 25-30 minutes until the meat is cooked through, the bacon is crispy, and the garlic is golden. Serve with a drizzle of the juices from the pan.