I wanted to showcase just how a "fancy" meal can actually taste delicious (so much flavor!), fill you up (no pretty tiny portions here), and be so easy to make! Before I started transitioning to healthy food, I always thought that if fancy food tasted good, it wasn't enough to fill me up. Or that it would be so pretty and have no flavor. And most of all, I assumed they'd be complicated to make.
Thankfully, this fancy dish is both full of flavor and super simple at the same time! I'm so excited for you to try it!
How to Choose Your Chicken Breasts
If I could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start eating healthier, I'd say to choose higher quality whenever possible. This is especially important with meat. Organic chickens are fed a better diet, live longer lives, and are able to become much stronger. Simply put, they taste better. Plus organic chickens aren't injected unnecessarily with antibiotics.
Air-chilled is another term to look for. It means that the chicken wasn't chilled with water, therefore, diluting the flavor. Air chilling helps improve the flavor, texture, as well as decreases the cooking time.
We try to order as much of our meat as possible from ButcherBox. (Get 7 pounds of free meat here!) And we purchase some extra organic meat from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods to help ensure we have enough to get us through the week.
How do I Butterfly Chicken Breasts?
You can purchase chicken breasts already butterflied to save yourself this step. However, if you choose to butterfly them yourself, it's actually pretty easy. Here are some steps to help get you started.
Place one hand on the chicken breast and cut horizontally with the other hand.
Begin to cut from the thinner side.
Be sure to leave half an inch on the opposite end.
Open the breast up and lay it flat.
How to Know Your Chicken is Cooked
Since cooking times vary greatly based on your stovetop, pan, and a multitude of combinations thereof, it can be a little tricky figuring out when it's cooked completely yet still tender.
Use a Meat Thermometer: I find the most accurate and direct approach is to use a meat thermometer. When your chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, you know it's safe to eat.
Make a Small Cut: What if you don't have a meat thermometer? Make a small cut at the thickest portion of your meat and check that the color is white all the way through. Pink is usually a sign that it should be cooked a bit longer.
Regardless of the method, I often pull the smaller breasts off prior to the larger ones to keep them from overcooking and drying out.
Ingredients for this Healthy Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Chicken Breast: The classic chicken breast is hearty and usually the perfect size for butterflying and stuffing. Try ButcherBox for chicken with the best flavor.
Goat Cheese: Talk about creamy and tasty! Goat cheese is my favorite cheese because I find it's the most flavorful of all the cheeses. On top of that, it's easier on your body to digest than cow's milk because the fat molecules are smaller in size and it has less lactose - so it's even tolerable to some people who are typically lactose intolerant.
Chives: Red onion is usually my go-to onion but since the stuffing portion in this recipe wasn't going to be cooked directly, I didn't want to risk them being too pungent. The chives added just the right flavor.
Basil: I used basil because I currently have three plants sitting above my kitchen sink but the reality is, you could use almost any herb combination and this dish would still turn out lovely.
Garlic: Please don't skip this one! Garlic adds so much flavor to any dish. This one just wouldn't be the same without it. Garlic powder is a perfect substitute; however, if that's all you have on hand.
Peaches: Savory and creamy on the inside meets the perfect pairing with a sweet and delicious peach topping. And currently, in the Carolinas, peaches are in season which means they're extraordinarily sweet and tasty right now! I try to incorporate them as much as possible. You could easily double this topping and still eat it all in one sitting. It's so good.
Maple Syrup: I think peaches and maple syrup may have been created to go together. (Peach pie anyone?!) I didn't call for much in this recipe since our peaches are pretty sweet as-is so if you want it sweet, by all means, increase the ratio!
Salt & Pepper: Bring on the salt! Not only is salt full of essential vitamins and minerals, but its sole purpose is also to enhance the flavor of pretty much anything. I like to make a point to incorporate high-quality sea salt in each of my dishes to ensure each individual flavor is showcased appropriately.
As always, if you try this, please leave a comment and tag us on Instagram @prettyhealthyfamily. It helps us more than you know!