Help with stuffed chicken breast
I made a stufed chicken breast tonight, but it didn't turn out well. I think I need some pointers. Here was my technique. I butterflied and pounded thin a boneless skinless chicken breast. I made a filling of goat cheese, browned chopped mushrooms, leeks, s&p. I put a generous spoonful on the chicken, rolled, and placed in a fry pan to brown. Some of the stuffing oozed out so I tried putting a couple of toothpicks in and then placed the ckicken in a 400 degree oven to finish cooking. End results was a tasty, but over cooked piece of chicken with almost no stuffing left. What should I have done to keep the stuffing from melting out? I have had great stuffed chicken in restaurants so I'm sure there must be a technique I'm missing. Thanks!
The problem of fillings oozing out of stuffed chicken breasts are usually caused by either one or a combination of:
1. over filling and through heat and expansion, the interior filling must escape somehow through the tiniest of openings
2. an improper seal
If you prepare properly, the actual use of toothpicks or string is unnecessary. When you butterfly a chicken breast, be careful not to tear any part of the flesh and pound into a consistent thickness of a quarter inch, and also a shape conducive for rolling so when you fold it is even and stands a better chance not to come undone(no short sides, nice ovals). Taking the time to chill the stuffed/rolled breast for up to an hour also helps it from becoming undone when cooking. Whether you coat with breadcrumbs or not, sear the meat on all sides and finish in the oven.
An easier method is to just fold over the butterflied stuffed breast, for a more rustic presentation. The key to this is to butterfly the meat and pound to a consistent quarter inch thickness.........but pound the edges of the breast all around about 3/4 inch from edge, to an eighth inch(1/8th) thickness. Fill your individual breast with filling, fold over, and pound gently all around with the mallet to seal. Think of the method similar to crimping a turnover or empanada for the seal. I have found this to be a more reliable method if your filling is more than garlic butter for Chicken Kiev.
JonH your chicken recipe sounds very good. I think maybe the problem you had was that it was cooked too long and at a too high temperature. "End result was a tasty but overcooked piece of chicken with almost no stuffing left". I find that even if the filling has oozed out, but the chicken hasn't been over-cooked, you can still spoon it over to make a sauce. Also, maybe too much goat cheese in the stuffing.
sounds like good flavors , I reccomend a little bread crumb and some beaten egg. THis acts as a binder and more of the stuffing should be left at the end. Use a thermo to prevent over - cookinjg . You are probably used to skin on chicken. I reccomend it for a stuffed breast. If not then perhaps use a standard breading procedure on the outside of the chicken to help hold things in and render a more moist breast.
Tooth picks are a fine solution instead of tying the bird up - just puill before you serve. I always use the same amount in each breast i do - so i always know how many to pull.