Strawberry & Goat Cheese Chicken – Cooked chicken breasts are layered with creamy goat cheese, sliced strawberries, and freshly sliced basil and finished with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.
Hurray for strawberry season! It’s the time of year when I pick up a quart of strawberries every time I’m in the grocery store. I just can’t help it! The berries are so plush and bright and juicy-looking. Plus, Lucy is loving strawberries right now so there’s officially one more strawberry lover in the house!
Another thing Lucy loves is my goat cheese crostini with fresh strawberries, basil, and balsamic glaze, a variation on these crostini that I made a few years ago. I made it for a couple friends that were over to visit us and Lucy decided to join in on the snacking. To our surprise, she gorged on many of the crostini. And my guests loved them too!
Making those crostini inspired me to use those same ingredients but for an entree instead of an appetizer. And so I decided to use chicken breasts in place of the baguette and created this incredible dish.
I present to you my Strawberries & Goat Cheese Chicken!
How to cook chicken perfectly
I only mastered the art of cooking chicken a few years ago. Before then, my chicken was either burned on the outside and raw on the inside or dry and bland. I struggled to find the perfect way to cook chicken at home so that it was moist, flavorful, yet simple to cook.
But then I learned a few tricks to ensure the chicken came out perfectly every time when cooking on my stovetop:
- Before cooking, even out the thickness of the chicken by slicing into fillets or pounding with a meat mallet
- Make sure the pan is super hot before adding the chicken breasts, but not above medium heat
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken for doneness
For this recipe, I used a meat mallet to flatten out the chicken. This helped the chicken cooked evenly, while also making the chicken breast a little wider, which made it perfect for holding all the toppings.
Speaking of toppings, let’s talk about them and how they’re added to the cooked chicken!
Assembling the toppings
After the chicken is cooked completely, we add the toppings to complete this incredible dish. Let’s talk about the toppings, shall we??
First comes the goat cheese spread. To make the goat cheese easy to spread onto the chicken, I mix it with a little whipped cream cheese. Then, I use a spoon to dollop on each chicken breast and spread with the back of the spoon. I like this method better than a knife because I don’t need to touch the chicken to spread on the mixture.
Next, I layer on the strawberries. I make sure to slice the strawberries thinly so they can layer on top of the chicken easily and will stay on the chicken during the eating process.
After the strawberries come the basil. I love how basil pairs so perfect with fruit, especially watermelon and strawberries. So it really was a no-brainer for this recipe. I chiffonade the basil to make it look pretty on top of the strawberries. This just means that I slice the basil into ribbons.
Finally, I finish off the chicken with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. I used to make my own balsamic glaze at home but then I discovered you could buy the glaze in a bottle, which is sooo much easier and it tastes exactly the same. Now I always have a bottle on hand to make it much easier to enjoy the glaze any time I want to.
Tips & Tricks
Here are some final tips to make sure you get this recipe exactly right:
- This is not a great recipe for making ahead of time because the ingredients lose their pretty look the longer they’re sitting together. However, you can make the goat cheese spread ahead of time so it’s ready when it’s time to serve. Other than that, it’s best to make the rest of the recipe when serving.
- The goat cheese spreads much easier when it is room temperature
Strawberry & Goat Cheese Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- 4 ounces goat cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
- 1 dry quart strawberries
- .25 ounces basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
- Place chicken breast on cutting board. Flatten with a meat mallet until the entire breast is about 1/2 inch thick. Repeat with other 3 breasts. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Add olive oil to skillet and heat to medium. Once the oil is hot, add chicken breasts and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes to brown the other side. Make sure the chicken breasts are fully cooked by using a meat thermometer. The temp should be 165 degrees or above.
- While the chicken rests. Mix softened goat cheese with whipped cream cheese. Add a little salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Wash, hull, and thinly slice strawberries. Set aside. Stack basil leaves on top of each other and roll into a log. Starting at the top of the leaf log, thinly slice the log. You should end up with strips of sliced basil.
- Now, we're ready to assemble. Dollop 2 tablespoons of the goat cheese mixture onto a chicken breast. Spread the cheese over the breast with the back of a spoon. Layer strawberries all over the cheese spread. Sprinkle with a few slices of basil and drizzle with a little balsamic glaze. Repeat with the rest of the chicken breasts. Serve immediately.
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