25 June 2009

My first Barefoot Contessa

A few weeks ago I was watching Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, (while exercising, of course) and marveled at her ability to craft a soup, an entrée, and a dessert from a single main ingredient: bread. I was so thoroughly amazed by the dessert that I committed the Panettone Bread Pudding recipe to memory. When I make it, you'll know. After several weeks of sitting on that recipe, I remember something I once learned from another, extremely professional food blogger: Ina Garten recipes never fail.

Let me repeat that:

Ina Garten recipes never fail.

So tonight, when company was coming and all I had was some fresh basil, bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, and an assortment of starches and fruits, who did I turn to? Google. And what did I search?

Ina Garten Chicken Basil

And here's my version of what it produced, which I served with oven roasted potatoes and a spinach/peach/cantaloupe melange tossed with a little pear vinegar and mint:

Chicken with Herbed Goat Cheese
adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home
  • 4 chicken breasts, bone in, skin on [I deboned them so I could portion small with ease]
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta, Mediterranean style (with kalamata, sun dried tomato, and basil)
  • fresh basil leaves
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375˚. Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers, leaving one side attached. Line the chicken breast with basil leaves then spread 1 oz. crumbled feta over the leaves. Pull the skin back over the filling. Rub each piece with olive oil and sprinkly generously with salt and pepper. Bake the breasts for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature.

[Original recipe here.]

I have very little to say about it, except this:

Ina Garten recipes never fail.

It's still true.

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