"True wine enthusiasts don’t collect wines.
They collect memories of wines shared with friends and family."

-Dario Zucconi

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Portobello Mushroom and Goat Cheese Chicken w/Fingerling Potatoes

Chicken stuffed with portobello mushroom and goat cheese, rosemary fingerling potatoes
I am grateful for many things, particularly for my children and my family.  This week, I am reminded that my most difficult challenges are easier to overcome with the love of family and friends.  I am thankful to have extended family around this week.  As a person who loves cooking and experimenting with new ingredients and recipes, I am also grateful to be able to enjoy the fruits of my friend's agricultural labor. This week's post is about some goodies from my friend Keith.  Keith loves gardening.  He doesn't have a backyard, since he lives in a Condo.  But, he has a small garden on his balcony where he grows all kids of fruits and vegetables.  This week, he brought us some of his vegetables and herbs to try.  They included fingerling potatoes, heirloom tomatoes, basil, and parsley.

Basil and Italian Parsley from Keith's garden
Tonight, our family Sunday supper consisted of a lot of ingredients courtesy of Keith. We are thrilled to have my sister-in-law Shauna, her husband Brad, and the kids with us tonight.  I love having the dinner table full with people. I love hearing the kids ask questions before the meal, like: "what's in this chicken?" "Why would you stuff chicken with raisin?" "Is the chicken sweet?"

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken
For a main dish, I made chicken thighs stuffed with a mixture of sauteed baby portobello mushrooms, red onions, chopped basil, chopped parsley, goat cheese, chopped dried Crimson golden raisins, salt and pepper.


Chicken thighs (boneless and skinless; about 8-12 depending on how many people you have eating)
1 pound of baby portobello mushrooms (wiped with a damp paper towel and diced)
1/2 red onions (diced)
1 Tablespoon of fresh basil (finely chopped)
1 Tablespoon of fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley (finely chopped
1 large log of Goat Cheese
1/2 cup of dried Crimson golden raisins
1 cup of dry white wine (to soak up the raisins)
1 Tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Kitchen twine (or string)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place the raisins in a bowl, add the wine, and let it soak for about 20 minutes.

Rinse the chicken under cool water and pat dry with paper towel.  Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.

In the meantime, heat up the extra virgin olive oil in a large sautee pan.  Add the onions and mushrooms, and cook until soft (about 6 minutes).  Season with salt and pepper AFTER cooking to reduce moisture. Remove from heat, put in a medium bowl, and let cool completely.

When the mushroom and onion mixture is cool, add the chopped parsley and basil. Then, add the goat cheese. Mix well.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stuff the chicken thighs with about a spoonful each of the mushroom mixture.  Roll the chicken pieces around the mixture to seal (it won't be perfect).  Tie each piece of stuffed chicken with some kitchen twine (tie it around twice, if needed, to keep the stuffing from falling out.

Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Arrange the stuffed chicken on the baking sheet - leaving a little bit of space between them.  Bake for about 30 minutes (or until cooked through).  Remove from heat. Let cool for a few minutes. Serve with some rosemary roasted fingerling potatoes (see recipe below) or your favorite side dish and/or vegetables. NOTE: The chicken would also go well with steamed rice.

Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerling potatoes from Keith's garden
As a side, I roasted the fingerling potatoes from Keith's garden with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and fresh rosemary.  NOTE: You can use dried rosemary from your spice cabinet.  After you clean the potatoes, add the oil, salt and pepper, rosemary, and mix. Put the potatoes in a baking dish, and roast at 375 for about 30 minutes.  You can cook them at the same time you're cooking the chicken.

The fingerling potatoes were delicious.  They were actually tastier than some potatoes I have bought in the store.  They were soft, creamy, buttery, and earthy.  They were a perfect accompaniment to the stuffed mushroom chicken.

Heirloom tomatoes from Keith's garden
Heirloom Tomatoes and Mixed Green Salad
Our family loves to have side salads with meals. My sister-in-law, Shauna, particularly likes my mixed green salad, with fresh heirloom tomatoes. It was a real treat to have so many different varieties of tomatoes from Keith. 

Garden of Adel!

My itty bitty garden, being nurtured by Keith.
Keith knows how much I love fresh fruits and vegetables. I, unfortunately, am not a big gardener. I tend to kill plants and vegetables when I try to plant them.  So, Keith has created a small garden for us in the backyard.  Last year, he planted sweet potatoes, which were great.  This year, he planted a variety of vegetables, including sugar snap peas (my favorite!), broccoli, heirloom tomatoes, basil, thyme, and rosemary. The garden is coming along pretty well. I can't wait to try some of the vegetables and herbs from there.

Grab a Cab!

Tonight, we decided to have a Cabernet Sauvignon with dinner. We opened one of our bottles from Robledo Winery (2009 Napa Valley). http://www.robledofamilywinery.com/media/6735/2012_august_newsletter.pdf

This Cab is a full-bodied wine that has wonderful flavors of dark fruits such as plums and blackberries.  It paired very nicely with the portebello mushroom, dried raisins, and goat cheese mixture.  The stuffing has a lot of bold flavors, including the flavors from the parsley and the mushroom.  This Cab also is one of our favorites.

I hope you had an enjoyable weekend with your family. Until next time . . . Cheers!


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