Monday, 7 May 2018

Smoked Chicken Breast Stuffed with Gouda and Roasted Red Pepper

A piece of gouda, half a roasted red pepper and some buttermilk led to this recipe.

The buttermilk was used for one of my favourite marinades from the book "Mastering the Grill" by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim. Buttermilk tenderizes and keeps the chicken moist.

I used the roasted red pepper and Gouda with some fresh herbs to stuff the chicken. Then I gave it a sweet and spicy rub, and my husband smoked it.

This chicken had so much flavour, from the marinade, to the rub and not to forget the gooey, cheesy filling. Each mouthful was an adventure!

I decided to make some Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad to serve with the chicken...firstly because the creamy avocado, sweet corn and juicy tomatoes would be a good contrast to the spicy rub, but also because I had an abundance of ripe avocado and some sweet, juicy grape tomatoes in the fridge.

Marinade 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts for at least 2 hours, in:

6 tablespoons buttermilk
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of chili flakes

Make the rub by combining:

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

To make the stuffing, combine the following:

1/3 cup grated gouda
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted red pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

To stuff the chicken, remove it from the marinade, and allow any excess to drip off.

Cut a slit into the side of each chicken breast, as shown, creating a pocket for the stuffing.

Divide the stuffing between the 2 chicken breasts, tucking it into the pockets.

Close the pocket and use a couple of toothpicks to close it.

Place the stuffed chicken breasts onto a plate and sprinkle them with the rub on both sides.

Store the remaining rub in an airtight container for another time.

To cook the chicken, we smoked it, using a blend of Tabasco wood chips and maple wood chips. Follow the instructions on your smoker. When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 170F, it is ready to serve.

If you do not have a smoker, the chicken can be grilled, or pan seared and then finished in a 350F oven. To smoke the chicken breasts on your barbecue, follow the instructions in the post Sticky Smoked Chicken Wings.

I served the chicken with steamed green beans, and Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salad.

  • The chicken can be marinated in your favourite marinade, or simply brushed with some mustard, maple syrup or olive oil to help the rub stick to the meat.
  • The rub can be omitted. It adds sweetness and a bit of heat, but is not essential to the basic stuffed chicken.
  • When making the rub, you can use smoked paprika for half of the paprika called for if you have some. This makes more than you need, but keeps well in an airtight container, and is nice to have on hand.
  • Other cheeses such as pepper Jack, provolone, havarti, Swiss or bocconcini can be used if you do not have gouda. Play around with different tastes and textures, the options are endless.
  • No roasted red pepper...try sundried tomatoes, chopped cooked spinach, caramelized onion, roasted garlic.
  • As  I mentioned above, this chicken can be pan seared and finished in the oven,  grilled or smoked on the barbecue, as in the post  Sticky Smoked Chicken Wings.

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