Tempt My Tummy Tuesday…Baked Chicken Stuffed with Sundried Tomato Pesto, Basil, and Goat Cheese

by Lisa on January 23, 2012

You may remember I was in Texas over Thanksgiving and into December while helping my sister recover from surgery.  During this time a dear friend, Mona, brought a meal to the house.   It is always nice to have meals provided during such times.  I know I have spoken of this frequently as I shared my friends and I were doing something similar for our friend who has been ill.  Anyway, back to the meal brought by Mona.  Oh my goodness – this was one of the best meals I have ever had to eat!  The menu: Baked Chicken stuffed with SunDried Tomato Pesto, Basil, and Goat Cheese,  Au Gratin Potatoes, mixed green salad.  She also brought some super yummy cookies.  The chicken was so incredible, and the potatoes where like no au gratin potato I had before.  It was scrumptious.  Today I am sharing both the chicken and the potato recipes with you.  Thank you Mona! (By the way, Mona is mine and my twin sister’s best friend since we were in 6th grade!)

I know these recipes call for items not kept in all pantries.  You will need to make a special trip to the grocer for some of the items called for in the recipes.  Having said that, I had no problem finding sun dried tomato pesto, or any other item in these recipes.  Sorry I don’t have a final picture of the chicken or the potatoes.  But I do have the prep work for the chicken pictured below.  Y’all know I’m never the best at capturing the food on film.  I’ll try to be better.  But, hey, the recipe is the most important part! 🙂

Baked Chicken Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto, Basil, and Goat Cheese

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated using fine grater  (When I made this recipe later, I forgot the finely grated part and just used shredded Parm.  Use the finely grated! It makes a difference. I was sorry I made the exchange. I won’t next time.)
6 oz. goat cheese (log type, such as Chevre)
6 oz. purchased or homemade Sun-dried tomato pesto
1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F. Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts. Put chicken breasts, one at a time, inside a heavy plastic freezer bag and pound with meat mallet or other heavy object until 1/4 inch thick.

Put pesto, goat cheese, and chopped basil in food processor and buzz a few times until mixture is combined but not completely blended. Spread 1/6 of pesto/basil/goat cheese mixture on each chicken breast. Roll up chicken, starting with smallest end, tucking in loose pieces and securing with two toothpicks.

Put parmesan cheese in flat dish, and roll each rolled up chicken breast in the cheese, patting on so you get as much cheese sticking on as you can. (You could dip the chicken in beaten egg if you wanted to get more cheese to stick, but mine stuck on quite well without it.)

Spray glass casserole dish with nonstick spray and arrange chicken so pieces are not touching. Bake 350 F 40-50 minutes, or until chicken is slightly browned and firm, but not hard to the touch. I recommend you start checking it after 40 minutes, and remove from oven as soon as the chicken feels firm and is slightly browned. Serve hot.

About this chicken:  My husband is a basic guy when it comes to food.  He is not a fan of things with goat cheese and would not have ordered this off a menu. BUT, he LOVED this chicken – goat cheese and ALL!

Au Gratin Potatoes

Béchamel sauce (approx. 2 cups)

  • 1 oz. unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
pinch of white pepper
¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ tbsp. yellow onion
1 ea bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
pinch of nutmeg, ground
  1.  In a small sauce pot, melt butter over medium heat until foamy. Stir in flour and cook 30 seconds or until a roux is formed.
  2. Stir in cream, milk, white pepper, onion, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

Au Gratin Sauce (approx. 2 ½ cups)


1 tbsp. margarine
  • 1/3 cups leeks, julienne, rinsed
  • ½ cup Sherry wine
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
2 cups Béchamel sauce (from above recipe)
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
pinch of Kosher salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of white pepper
  • pinch of garlic powder
½ cup American or Velveeta brand cheese, grated
  1. In a small sauce pot, sauté leeks in margarine until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add sherry and reduce until almost completely evaporated.
  3. Stir in garlic, Béchamel sauce, heavy cream, salt, black pepper, white pepper, and garlic powder. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  4.  Stir in cheese until smooth. Remove from heat. Set aside.

Au Gratin Potatoes  ( I am sorry I do not have a picture of the potatoes. )

  • 1 ½ lbs. Idaho potatoes, cooked, cooled, peeled, sliced crossways 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 ½ cups Au Gratin Sauce (from above recipe)
  • ¾ cup American or Velveeta brand cheese, grated
  • Bacon
  1. Cook and cool potatoes one day in advance. When completely cooled (the next day), peel and slice potatoes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine warm Au Gratin Sauce with the potatoes. Toss gently to combine.
  3.  Pour potatoes into a nine-by-nine-inch casserole dish. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for 15 minutes or until browned and bubbly.
  4. Sprinkle bacon bits on top.

I know this looks like an incredible amount of work to do for one dish of Au Gratin Potatoes – but the flavor is incredible!  Remember these potatoes must be started the night before.  So, you cannot wait until the last minute to make and serve.

Enjoy! Thank you for sharing your recipes each week.  You inspire me!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill@RealFoodForager.com January 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I shared my video making sauerkraut. Lastly, as article about the benefits of sourdough leavening.

Join me in my Probiotic Foods Challenge starting January 9 at Real Food Forager!

And link up your cultured and fermented foods here!
Thanks for hosting!


Miz Helen January 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Hi Lisa,
I can’t wait to make the meal that Mona brought for your family, it just looks delicious. That chicken will be a big hit with my crowd. I am sharing my Herb Crusted Ribs with Orange Sauce this week. Thank you so much for hosting and stopping by to say hello, I really appreciate it. Hope you have a great week!
Miz Helen


Tricia January 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Oh….I could go for those au gratin potatoes right now!!! Yummmy! Thanks for hosting, Lisa!


Don Odiorne January 23, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Thanks for using Idaho russet potatoes in your Augratin recipe, looks like they turned out great!


Rachelle January 23, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Whoops, I don’t know what happened to my picture #35 bacon wrapped chicken bites. Sorry about that. http://mommyimhungry.blogspot.com/2012/01/bacon-wrapped-jalapeno-chicken-bites.html


Amanda January 23, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I need to try those potatoes! The boxed kind has MSG and I’m very sensitive to it. I’ve just quit eating them but sometimes I take a hankering for them. Those sound good!
God bless,


Jessica@MakingHomeSweeter January 23, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Hi, I’m new to your site! Thanks for hosting this link up. I’m already loving your blog, I’m a foodie over here!


Winnie January 24, 2012 at 3:46 am

Hi Lisa
It’s my 1st time at your blog 🙂
I love the potatoes very much (I’m a veg.) and hope to try them real soon.
I’ve linked up to my “Apple Tart” and to my “Teddy-Bear Challah”
Thanks for hosting this wonderful and inspiring party


Hezzi-D January 24, 2012 at 5:27 am

Your chicken sounds really deilcious and easy to make! I can’t wait to try it out.


Wendy (The Local Cook) January 24, 2012 at 6:40 am

Yummy, can’t go wrong with goat cheese!


Melinda January 24, 2012 at 7:32 am

Wow! What a blessing to have good friends that are also good cooks!


Leah January 24, 2012 at 8:28 am

Just yesterday night I was trying to think how to cook chicken for dinner. Wish I had seen this! Needless to say, I will be cooking this for dinner this week!
Thanks for sharing. 🙂


Cheryl B. January 24, 2012 at 10:29 am

Hi Lisa ;->

I love taking meals in to friends, because I know it’s checking at least one thing off of their ‘to do list’. And sometimes, due to ‘life’, making your family dinner is a HUGE ‘to do’.

I too have a best friend whom has been my friend since about 6th grade (best w can think back to o;-p) We are now in our early 50’s and still cherish one another greatly! In-fact, we went out for our form of ‘therapy’ just last week! (lunch and mission store shopping. ;-p)

That chicken recipe does sound yummy! Thanks for sharing it!


Michelle January 24, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Love the au gratin potatoes with a bechamel AND an au gratin sauce. I don’t want to know that calories there, but YUM. Now I’m hungry. Time to go get the leftover bbq chicken from the fridge. I had no idea how easy it was to make homemade bbq sauce. 🙂


andi winslow January 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Hi Lisa I am a new follower. I love the sound of your chicken dish that was made by friends, sounds very tasty. I posted Taco Soup which is so easy and so good…………….have a great week. Stop over and visit if you can. Andi


caroline January 25, 2012 at 12:32 am
Loy January 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Great party. So many delicious recipe to go check out. Thanks for hosting.


Mrs. T January 25, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Thanks for hosting! This is my first time joining up with the linking party but I will definitely be back next week. Thanks again!


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