Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese can go from an easy weeknight meal to entertaining weekend dinner guests. Simple to make and elegant!
I’ll never forget one of the first times I made stuffed chicken breasts. It was the end of my Junior year of college. Ever the little hostess, I decided to have my friends over for a dinner party.
Things were going well! (Or, so I thought.) I’d made crab cakes for an appetizer and everyone was enjoying them. My stuffed chicken breasts were in the oven, and dinner was right on schedule.
Except, halfway through the crab cakes, I realized that I wasn’t smelling the buttery aroma of chicken baking in my apartment. I excused myself into the kitchen, opened the oven, and found a raw pan of chicken.
Not quite knowing what to do, I cranked up the temperature on my oven. It felt warm. Well, kind of. A little while later, I returned to find the same sad little uncooked chicken breasts staring back at me.
My heart sank as I realized that my oven had broken. I had no stuffed chicken breasts to serve. It was my first solo entertaining disaster.
My friends were good sports. We polished off a side salad, garlic bread (which had somehow dried out to a nearly petrified loaf in the not-hot-enough-to-cook-chicken oven), and a delicious coconut layer cake that one of my friends had brought for dessert.
Not my finest moment. Despite the catastrophe, stuffed chicken breasts are still one of my favorite dinner recipes, whether I’m serving two for a weeknight dinner, or a tableful of guests.
When they’re cooked, that is!
Filling for Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts
The stuffing for this recipe is so easy to make. All you need to do is sauté mushrooms with shallots, garlic, herbs, and a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan. It takes less than 10 minutes.
The type of mushrooms you use is up to you. Since they’re one of the stars of the show here, I like to use a gourmet mushroom mix. My market sells it freshly-sliced and packaged, but if you want to make it up yourself, use a mix of cremini, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms.
I find button mushrooms on their own a little too mild for this filling. If you use them, I’d recommend mixing buttons and cremini.
Crumbled goat cheese (chèvre) brings creaminess and a little bit of tang to the filling. Just crumble it over the mushroom filling, and when it bakes, you’ll get luscious pockets of cheese as you cut through the stuffed chicken breasts.
How to Stuff Chicken Breasts
Generally speaking, you can make stuffed chicken with either bone-in or boneless breasts. For this baked recipe, I use bone-in chicken breasts, with the skin attached. I find that they come especially juicy, tender, and flavorful in the oven.
When stuffing a bone-in, skin-on chicken breast, you have two options. First, you can gently make a pocket under the skin with your fingers, so that the filling mixture sits on top of the juicy chicken breast. Or, you can cut a pocket in the side of the chicken breast with a paring knife, so that the filling is sandwiched by the meat.
For this post, I stuffed the chicken breasts under the skin, but you can use the same filling with the sandwiching technique.
Serving Baked Stuffed Chicken Breasts
I like to serve these Mushroom and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts with a squeeze of lemon on top and lightly-dressed greens on the side. The chicken is filling, so I find that you don’t need a heavy side dish for a satisfying meal.
If you’d like to add a starch, my Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes pair fantastically with roasted meats; or, my Parmesan Duchess Potatoes would add an extra touch of elegance to the meal. A simple Rice Pilaf is always a good choice as well.
For a wine pairing, I like to serve these stuffed chicken breasts with a full-bodied Sauvignon Blanc. It pairs well with both the mushrooms and the tangy goat cheese.
And, pro tip for success: Make sure your oven works before you start roasting the chicken! <<Cue Laugh Track>>
Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms & Goat Cheese
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil , plus additional for brushing the chicken breasts
- 8 ounces mixed mushrooms (I use a specialty blend of porcini, shiitake, and cremini), roughly chopped
- 1 large shallot , chopped (about 1/3 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic , chopped or pressed
- splash white wine (about 2 T)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 4 ounces goat cheese , crumbled
- kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F with rack in the lower-middle position. Lightly oil a roasting pan and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and shallots with 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are cooked down and starting to brown, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add a splash of white wine to the pan to deglaze, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until wine is evaporated. Stir in parsley and thyme and set aside to cool.
- Gently loosen skin of chicken breasts by running your finger between the skin and the meat from the bone side outward. Be careful not to tear the skin or detach it completely from the chicken.
- Add 1/4 of the cooked mushroom mixture to the pocket underneath the skin, spreading it evenly across the length of the chicken breast.
- Add 1 ounce of goat cheese per chicken breast on top of the mushrooms and pull skin over the filling. If the skin appears quite loose, secure it with skewers to keep it closed over the filling.
- Place stuffed chicken breasts in a single layer in the prepared roasting pan. Lightly brush the skin with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Roast for 35-45 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken breast), until the internal temperature in the thickest part, away from the bone, reads 165 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
- Remove from oven, tent with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve with a wedge of lemon.