Stuffed Chicken with Marsala, Figs, and Goat Cheese
5 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup dried Mission figs, diced
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water, optional
Polenta, recipe follows
In a small bowl mix together the goat cheese, 1/4 cup of the figs, orange zest, and nutmeg. Set aside.
Make a pocket in each chicken breast by pressing flat down on the breast with the palm of your hand and making an incision in the thickest part of the breast, carefully pivoting the knife to create a deep pocket, keeping the other side of the breast intact. Stuff each breast with the cheese mixture. Secure with toothpicks if needed.
Lightly season the outside of the breast with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in large skillet. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan.
Deglaze the pan with the Marsala wine. Add the chicken stock, butter, and remaining figs. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If desired, slightly thicken the sauce with the corn starch and water mixture. Return the chicken to the pan, cover, and simmer until the thickest part of the chicken reaches 160 degrees F, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from pan and slice each breast crosswise. Serve with the polenta. Spoon sauce over the chicken.
In a medium saucepan, bring stock, milk, and half-and-half to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the cornmeal. Keep whisking until the mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in the cheeses and butter. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy Gina Garrene, San Diego, CA
Recipe courtesy of Tom Pizzica