Apple and Smoked Gouda Stuffed Chicken
You guys, it’s 96 degrees in Dallas today. I feel like I’ve been patiently waiting for fall, trying to see the positives of a never ending sweltering summer, and I just can’t do it anymore. I might lose my %$^&. I just literally drove my kids to and from a doctor’s appointment, and I’m so hot I might need to take another shower. I wish there was someone I could call and complain to, and maybe ask for my money back. I did not sign up for this.
The only silver lining is that we can continue using the man-made Braley waterpark in the backyard (which includes this fun little thing), and if the heat keeps up I could probably start charging neighbors for admission.
Since it’s too hot to cook any stews, I’m keeping things quick and simple in the kitchen. This dinner was delicious, fun, pretty, healthy, easy, and fast. What else could you ask for?
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (2 full breasts), butterflied
- 1 large Honeycrisp apple (or two small), cut into thin slices
- 4 slices smoked Gouda (looooove Trader Joe’s)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Olive oil
Pan sauce (optional)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup apple juice
- 1 tablespoon butter
Season the butterflied chicken with salt and pepper. I bought 4 chicken breasts and butterflied them myself (it’s pretty easy using a sharp knife, lay the breast half down flat and cut parallel to your surface until about 1/2 in from the edge), but you can easily have the butcher do this for you. Preheat the oven to 350 and heat about a teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the sliced apple to the skillet and saute for only about 2 minutes, to soften them up a bit. Transfer to a bowl.
With the butterflied chicken breasts lying open, add one thick slice of gouda (I like the pre-cut round variation from Trader Joe’s), followed by 1/4 of the apple slices. The gouda I centered in the middle of the butterfly, but the apple slices I placed on one side to prevent them from breaking. Fold one half of the chicken over the other, and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
Heat about a tablespoon of oil in the skillet over medium heat. Brown each of the chicken breasts 2 minutes per side, transferring/moving the toothpick when you flip. This is actually fairly easy to do after the first side cooks, because the chicken stays folded over. When done browning, transfer to a baking dish. Bake the chicken for 15 minutes.
While the chicken is baking, make the pan sauce if desired. Add the apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pan, then pour in the apple juice and add the butter and a pinch of salt. Let the sauce reduce on low while the chicken cooks. Pour a spoonful or two over each breast before serving.