Goat-Cheese-and-Olive-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Balsamic-Butter Pan Sauce


Here, chicken breasts are stuffed and then seared until golden-brown. Several reviewers mentioned they used feta cheese instead of goat cheese; and another person said they didn’t like olives so they substituted spinach with great results. We had all of the necessary ingredients so we stuck to the original recipe—and loved it! Our accompaniment was garlicky sautéed spinach.

As far as the pan sauce, I don’t know why they have you prepare it in a separate skillet. The beauty of a pan sauce is incorporating the browned bits from the pan that you seared the meat in. Simply remove the chicken breasts to a plate, discard any fat in the skillet and set over low heat. Then proceed with the next step.

by Dina Cheney from Fine Cooking


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/2 lb. total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. fresh goat cheese
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 2-1/4 oz. (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. minced shallots
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. lower-salt chicken broth
I found it easier to “sew” the breasts with small metal skewers as opposed to toothpicks.
Pan frying the second side of stuffed breasts.
  1. With a boning knife, cut a wide pocket into the thickest part of each chicken breast half, taking care not to cut all the way through. Season the chicken evenly on both sides with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper total.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the cheese, olives, and 1 tsp. each lemon zest and rosemary. Stuff the pockets with the cheese mixture and pin each shut with two toothpicks. Spread the flour in a shallow bowl and dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess.
  3. Heat 1 Tbs. of the butter and the oil in a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat until the foam from the butter subsides. Add the chicken and cook, flipping once and adding another 1 Tbs. of butter halfway through cooking, until golden-brown and cooked through (reduce the heat to medium if necessary), 14 to 16 minutes total. Transfer to plates and remove the toothpicks.
  4. While the chicken cooks, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and boil until syrupy, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and boil for 1 minute more. (See our note above about making the pan sauce in the same skillet as the chicken.)
  5. Off the heat, whisk in the remaining 3 Tbs. butter, 1 tsp. zest, and 1/2 tsp. rosemary. Serve the chicken drizzled with the sauce.

The inside yummy stuffing comes oozing out as you slice into the breast. 

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