Harissa-marinated chicken with herbed goat cheese

Got home at 5:45 which is late for me. [spoiled] I had taken out 3 beautiful boneless, skinless chicken breasts with no plan of what to do with them. So in my typical fashion, I scavenged through the fridge to see what I could create, and I found the Harissa, a traditional Moroccan red pepper sauce, some goat cheese needing to be used up, and some fresh parsley left over from the weekend.

And VOILA~ Harissa-marinated chicken stuffed with herbed goat cheese. So easy….keep reading.

Harissa-marinated Chicken with Herbed Goat Cheese
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 TBSP olive oil
3 TBSP Harissa (I use Mina brand spicy Harissa from World Market)

Marinate the chicken in the olive oil and Harissa in a large ziploc bag. Just throw it all in there, rub it all around, and set it out for as long as you can. Tonight, it only set for 20 minutes. We were hungry~

Goat Cheese Stuffing
6 ounces good goat cheese
2 TBSP chopped parsley
1/4 tsp salt
3 turns of a pepper mill of black pepper (how’s that for exact measurement : )
[you don’t need much salt or pepper in the cheese blend because the Harissa is so spicy and flavorful.]
Mix this all together in a bowl. I warmed it a few seconds in the microwave just so the cheese was easier to stir.

Remove the chicken from the marinade.
Place foil on your baking sheet [another lazy move – don’t want to have to wash the pan. could have used the lovely round baking stone, but that thing’s a bitch to clean]
Slice the chicken breasts parallel to the pan at the thickest part but don’t go all the way through. The slit should be deep enough so that the cheese won’t spill out in the oven.
Spoon in (or stuff in with your hands if you’re Italian) but don’t put so much that it’s spilling out before you put it in the oven.

Cook at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes. Time is totally dependent on how big your chicken breasts are. So keep an eye on it.

The spicy hotness of the Harissa is offset so nicely by the tangy coolness of the goat cheese. This was easy and delicious. I’d serve this with a nice Basmati Rice or couscous. Tonight we had mixed vegies, but only because we’re trying to be good.

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