Carefully loosen the skin of the chicken breast and insert a little of the cheese mixture into the pocket.
Add the cream then reduce the sauce until it lightly coats the back of a spoon.
Strain the sauce into a clean saucepan before adding remaining chopped herbs.
Chicken with Chardonnay and Fresh Herbs
Stuffing goat cheese under the skin of the chicken gives this dish a creamy and striking taste. The fresh herbs and Chardonnay combine to make a delicious and complementary sauce.
4 large chicken breast halves, boneless, skin on
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon each chopped fresh tarragon, Italian parsley, chervil
Freshly ground white pepper
About 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 cup good California Chardonnay
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 450° F or heat a grill until hot.
In a bowl, mix the goat cheese, half the herbs and white pepper to taste.
Loosen the skin of the chicken breasts. Divide the cheese mixture, place some of it under the skin of each breast and pat gently to distribute evenly.
Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or cook on the hot grill for 10 to 12 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked right through.
Combine the shallot and chardonnay in a saucepan, bring to a boil and reduce to a glaze, about 1/4 cup. Add the stock and reduce by half. Add the cream and continue to reduce until the sauce lightly coats the back of a spoon. Whisk in the butter in small pieces, making sure each piece is incorporated before adding the next. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Strain into a clean saucepan and add the remaining chopped herbs.
Pool the sauce onto 4 warm dinner plates. Slice each chicken breast on the bias into 5 pieces and place on top of the sauce. Serve immediately with the rest of the chardonnay.
Note: Make sure to get the charcoal very hot and let it get coated with grey ash before grilling the chicken. If you are using a gas or electric grill get it very hot, too, then turn the heat down to medium to cook the chicken.
Obviously a Californian Chardonnay will complement this dish. But you may want to consider a contrast, perhaps a sparkling wine in the Champagne style like Brut Carneros or Jepson¹s Blanc de Blanc from Mendocino.
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